The College Park 2017 Community Survey provided residents the opportunity to rate their satisfaction with the quality of life in the City, the community’s amenities and local government itself. The City of College Park contracted with National Research Center, Inc. to conduct a scientific survey of residents in the City. Of the 1,900 randomly selected households to which surveys were sent, 38 were identified by the post office as vacant. A total of 343 completed surveys were returned from the estimated 1,862 households that received a survey, for a response rate of 18%.
Survey results were weighted so that respondent gender and age, housing tenure (rent versus own) and race and ethnicity were represented in the proportions reflective of the entire area. The margin of error is plus or minus five percentage points around any given percent for all results.
Here are a few key findings of the 2017 survey results.
College Park residents enjoy a positive quality of life.
- About 7 in 10 respondents rated the overall quality of life in the City as excellent or good, while about 3 in 10 rated it as fair or poor
- About 8 in 10 residents were pleased with their neighborhood as a place to live and College Park as a place to live, and about 5 in 10 were pleased with College Park as a place to raise children and to visit. Slightly less than half of respondents positively rated the City as a place to retire.
- When asked how likely they were to remain in College Park for the next five years, about 6 in 10 residents indicated that they were very or somewhat likely to remain in the City. About threequarters of residents were likely to recommend living in College Park to someone who asked.
- More than 8 in 10 residents positively rated the openness and acceptance of the community toward people of diverse backgrounds, and about two-thirds gave excellent or good ratings to opportunities to participate in community matters. Roughly 6 in 10 respondents were pleased with the cleanliness of the city, opportunities to volunteer and the quality of the overall natural environment in College Park.
Most residents rate economic aspects of the city favorably, but opportunities for improvement exist
- When evaluating the City as a place to work, about 6 in 10 residents thought it was an excellent or good place to work and about one-quarter rated it as poor.
- About three-quarters of residents positively rated the overall quality of new development in the city and around 6 in 10 were pleased with its overall economic health. However, fewer than half of survey respondents gave favorable ratings to shopping opportunities, the cost of living in College Park and employment opportunities.
- About two-thirds of residents gave favorable ratings to the quality of economic development in the City.
- Residents were shown a list of different types of amenities and asked to indicate which types they felt were most lacking in College Park. About half felt that grocery stores were lacking in the city and about 4 in 10 thought that venues to purchase fresh produce stores were lacking. Roughly one-third thought that department stores, venues to purchase baked goods and desserts, restaurants/bars and apparel and shoes stores were lacking.
Safety may also be a potential area of focus for the City
- About 6 in 10 residents gave the overall feeling of safety in the city an excellent or good rating, while about 4 in 10 rated it as fair or poor.
- About three-quarters of residents felt very or somewhat safe in shopping centers and in their neighborhood, and about two-thirds felt safe in downtown College Park and at local parks and playgrounds. Only about half of respondents felt safe on paths and trails in the city
- About two-thirds of residents felt that gangs were not a problem in their neighborhood and about 2 in 10 felt that they were only a minor problem. However, about half of residents indicated that they thought crime was at least a moderate problem in their neighborhood.
- When asked to rate the quality of several different safety-related services in College Park, almost all residents rated ambulance/EMS and fire services as excellent or good, and about 7 in 10 gave favorable ratings to animal control, police services and fire prevention and education. Roughly half of residents positively rated crime prevention, emergency preparedness and code enforcement.
Residents are pleased with the City’s Parks and Recreation offerings
- About three-quarters of residents gave favorable ratings to the availability of parks and playgrounds in the city, and about 6 in 10 positively rated recreational opportunities and opportunities to attend cultural activities.
- About three-quarters of residents gave positive ratings to city parks and playgrounds and to bike and pedestrian trails. Slightly fewer (about 7 in 10) gave excellent or good ratings to recreation programs or classes and recreation centers or facilities. Almost all residents gave positive ratings to the Skate Board Park and the Old Town Community Garden and about three-quarters favorably rated city parks and playgrounds.
College Park residents appreciate and use the alternative transportation options available in the city, but would like to see improvements to traffic flow.
- About two-thirds positively rated availability of paths and walking trails, ease of bicycle travel and ease of travel by public transportation.
- Traffic flow on major streets received positive ratings from only about one-quarter of residents; about 4 in 10 rated this as fair and another 3 in 10 rated it as poor.
- About half of residents rated pedestrian hazards and parking as a moderate problem, major problem or extreme problem in their neighborhood, while about 6 in 10 rated traffic as at least a moderate problem.
- A majority of residents reported walking to shop, get a meal or run errands or for fun or exercise at least once in the last 12 months. Half indicated that they walked for their work commute. At least half said that they had ridden public transit at least once for their work commute or for shopping or running errands.
- Residents were asked, in an average work week, how many days a week they used various modes of travel to get to and from work. Across all work commute trips, on average, 55% of trips were by car, 19% were by transit and 13% were by walking.
Residents rate aspects of City government performance highly
- Respondents were asked to evaluate a number of aspects related to government performance in College Park; the top-rated aspects, with about two-thirds of residents giving an excellent or good rating to each, were being honest, the overall direction that College Park is taking, treating all residents fairly, being responsive to residents and businesses, effectively planning for the future and overall confidence in City of College Park government.
- Survey respondents were asked how often they had interacted with the City in a variety of different methods in the 12 months prior to the survey. About two-thirds had visited the City website at least once and slightly less than half had called the City at least once in the last 12 months. About 3 in 10 residents or less had read the City newsletter or read emails from the City’s listserv.