Education, taxes and urban sprawl take a back seat to traffic and roads as the top concerns of Fairfax County residents, according to results of a survey released this week.

The survey was conducted on behalf of Fairfax Tomorrow, an initiative advocating development clustered around public transit. The group says half of the 1,820 residents polled listed "traffic/transportation/roads/mass transit" as the most important challenge facing the county today.

Taking a distant second were schools, high taxes and development, which each garnered about 10 percent of responses as the number one issue.

In another question, 58 percent of those surveyed called traffic congestion a "major problem," and 21 percent called it a "crisis." The margin of error was listed at plus or minus 2.3 percent.

"You get a pretty clear picture that people are looking for more mass transit, that they are looking to use that mass transit as a catalyst for different kinds of growth," said Bill Lecos, president of the Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce, which created Fairfax Tomorrow.

The debate on the future of growth in Fairfax County has intensified recently with the plan to send 23 miles of Metrorail past Dulles Airport, which 83 percent said they favored.

The issue is also largely centered around a mounting traffic problem that has been blamed on both an inadequate road system and rapid development.

The survey showed 42 percent of residents believed growth had occurred "much too fast," though in another question, 57 percent said they believed growth is "inevitable and cannot be stopped."