As a follow-up to the 2014 Texas Transportation Poll conducted by the Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI), researchers have conducted additional analysis that provides more insight into public sentiment on transportation issues in Texas.
Researchers found that Texans most frequently identified the following issues as being important to them:congestion, gas prices, construction, public transportation, road maintenance, driver behavior, planning, bicycle and pedestrian travel, and toll roads. They then evaluated the sentiment that respondents indicated for each of the issues.
Sentiment analysis allows for a better understanding of whether Texans feel positively or negatively toward a particular topic. Researchers say this can help policy makers better understand how the public may react to potential transportation policies. For this analysis, sentiment was measured using Linguistic Inquiry Word Count (LIWC), a linguistic software that infers psychological and/or emotional reactions.
With congestion being the most frequently mentioned topic, average sentiment toward traffic congestion was just less than zero, indicating that, on average, comments were only slightly negative. In comparison, the fifth most frequently mentioned topic, road maintenance, was expressed through strong negative emotions.
For more results, see the policy brief.