and many other livability issues
in the survey.
(Photo © J. Maus)
The City of Portland Auditor’s Office has released results of their 20th annual Community Survey. The survey was sent to 9,800 randomly selected households this past summer, and 3,663 valid surveys were returned.
The survey asks a range of questions about general community and livability. The purpose is to inform City Hall and city staffers about how people perceive their neighborhoods so the city can look to improve those perceptions through programs or policies. Of particular interest to us is how people rate the quality of roads and the safety of bicycling in their neighborhoods. This year, there were two new questions on the survey directly related to transportation mode.
Another interesting tool this survey can be used for is to get a sense of the equity issue because it asks every neighborhood coalition the same questions.
Here are the key takeaways from a livability and bicycling/transportation perspective:
- Citywide, 87% of Portlanders “felt positive” about our city’s livability (Southwest was highest at 95% and East was lowest at 67%).
- Residents say major street, peak hour traffic congestion is getting worse. In 2010, 22 percent felt good or very good about congestion on major streets, compared to 26 percent in 2006.
- Fewer people are happy with “street smoothness” levels. In 2010, 52 percent of residents felt good or very good about street smoothness compared to 58 percent in 2006. This decline was even more pronounced in both the North and East coalitions, where each dropped 13 percentage points over the same five years (to 47 percent and 51 percent, respectively).
- More people reported that speeding vehicles on neighborhood streets is a problem. Citywide, just 35 percent of residents felt good or very good about traffic speed on neighborhood streets, an 11 percentage point decrease from 2006. (Wonder if it’s related to cut-through traffic due to more congestion on major streets.)
- When asked their “primary mode of transportation in the last seven days,” 62 percent of Portlanders say they drive alone to work. 12 percent take transit, 6 percent walk, and 7 percent go by bike.
- When asked the same question about non-work trips, 66 percent said they drive a car, while 1 percent walk and 4 percent bike.
- In terms of geographic split, East Portlanders had the highest percentage of work trips made by car at 77 percent, while Inner Northeast residents reporting the lowest with 50 percent.
- A record number of residents – 50 percent – said they feel good or very good about bike safety. That’s up from 48 percent last year and the highest percentage on record. (Same thing for walking safety.)
It will be interesting to see how these percentages change as PBOT continues to build out its network of bike boulevards. They’re on pace for 15 new miles per year for the next three years and I’m sure we’ll see big jumps in perceptions of neighborhood bike safety and non-work mode split in the future.
You can download the complete report here (PDF).