Facts about respondents to Boulder's 2014 community survey
Time in Boulder: 30% have lived in city 2 to 5 years, 27% more than 20 years
Housing: 51% rent, 49% own
Connection: 97% have regular, convenient Internet access
Education: 39% have a bachelor's degree, 29% have a master's degree
Preferred language: 97% stated English, 1% said "other"
More info: See survey results at tinyurl.com/n6ev7qn.
Boulder residents appear to be generally happy with the city's current state of affairs — at least, that's the case with most of those responding to its 2014 community survey.
Asked to rate their overall quality of life, 94 percent said it is either very good (51 percent) or good (43 percent).
Also, 77 percent of respondents described the city as a "good" or "very good" place to work, according to the newly released results.
However, a questionable sense of safety was expressed about the area of the municipal campus and main library. Only 34 percent said they always or usually feel safe there at night.
"The purpose of the survey is not to pat ourselves on the back, but to get an understanding about which areas of activity where we can make improvements," said Mayor Matt Appelbaum. "What are people's priorities? What are they concerned about? And I think it does provide some good basic insight into that."
The survey was mailed in January and February to more than 3,000 households, with 785 filling it out, a return rate of 27 percent. It asked people about their priorities for quality of life and government services, among other things.
The results will be presented to the City Council on Tuesday, and the findings are intended to "inform the budget process, plan for future projects, develop community outreach," according to a city news release.
"I would say some of the things that we're pleased with is the respondents continue to believe that the quality of life is very good in Boulder and that the city effectively plans for the future," said city spokesman Patrick von Keyserling.
"And there are also some areas that have been of concern for the community and continue to be a concern -— are there enough available resources for the homeless population, is there enough affordable housing, and these are issues that the City Council and staff have been tackling the past year and a half."
Not surprisingly in a city known for its recreational options, 94 percent of the respondents rated the overall quality of indoor and outdoor recreation as good or very good.
Similarly, the city's reputation as a place where the environment is valued was reflected by the 95 percent who said the quality of the natural environment is good or very good.
Respondents also gave high ratings to the city's response to September's flood. A total of 83 percent said the city's flood response was good or very good, while a mere 4 percent labeled it bad or very bad.
And, while roughly half (53 percent) said they would not be in favor of more taxes for additional flood mitigation, just over four in 10 (43 percent) said they would support taxes of "up to double the current amount" for those purposes.
"The city of Boulder is thrilled to get the confirmation and feedback from Boulder residents," said Mike Banuelos, city spokesman for public works. "Flood response was really an organization-wide effort, and folks were 24-7."
In the area of public safety, 97 percent said they feel either always or usually safe in their own neighborhood during the day, with that total slipping to 86 percent at night.
The city has mounted numerous initiatives in recent months to address safety and other quality-of-life issues centering on the downtown municipal campus and main library area, and residents' concerns about that district are reflected in the survey.
The percentage of those feeling always or usually safe there, even during the day, was at just 69 percent.
"I think that's probably consistent with what we know," said interim Boulder police Chief Greg Testa. "That's an area we focus on in terms of increased police presence and increased police patrols. I think it's going to be an area we need to focus on for an extended period of time."
Contact Camera Staff Writer Charlie Brennan at 303-473-1327 or firstname.lastname@example.org.