NEW YORK (AP) – A new poll shows that nearly half of the Lower Manhattan residents surveyed expressed a pessimistic view about the rebuilding of the World Trade Center site.

The Pace University poll also said less than one-third believed the redevelopment plans were “headed in the right direction.”

“Without question, Lower Manhattan residents are losing faith in the rebuilding effort,” wrote Jonathan Trichter, the director of the Pace Poll, and Chris Paige, the assistant director.

The polling operation is part of Pace University in downtown Manhattan.

The new poll was based on telephone interviews with 511 randomly selected respondents who live below 14th Street. The poll, with a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points, was conducted from June 14 to June 26.

More than a quarter of the respondents said they believed that Gov. George E. Pataki was “most responsible for the lack of progress.”

Pataki spokeswoman Joanna Rose defended the governor, who has presidential aspirations.

“Polls are for pundits,” she said, “but we all know that people vote with their feet and Lower Manhattan has never been a more popular place to live.”

Nearly five years after the Sept. 11 attacks, the reconstruction of the World Trade Center site has been limited. Train service has been restored to the area, nearby buildings have been repaired and one new tower built, but other major components, like the Freedom Tower skyscraper and twin towers memorial, remain in the planning stages.

AP-ES-07-08-06 1503EDT

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