Personal vs. Policy Preferences
Some critics suggest that people are willing to support policies that would primarily affect others that they would not choose for themselves. This is referred to as a NIMBY, or “not in my back yard” response. In a large regional survey, we asked about support for improving pedestrian infrastructure as transportation policy, and we also asked about sidewalks and pedestrian areas as factors determining where the respondent would like to live. The higher the positive correlation (Gamma) between these two measures, the less likely there is to be a NIMBY response within the community.
Negative correlations dominate the relationships we observed suggesting that what people supported as a policy for the region differed from what they would chose for themselves.