7 key findings from Hamilton quality of life survey

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7 key findings from Hamilton quality of life survey

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The Alexander Hamilton statue stands tall on High Street in Hamilton. NICK GRAHAM/2011

Half of the residents who took a recent “community livability” survey viewed quality of life in Hamilton “positively,” according to national pollsters who conducted the survey, while the other half were less positive about it.

Here are seven key findings from the survey:

1. SAFETY

  • 79 percent were positive about feeling safe in their neighborhood. That’s down from 85 percent in 2011, and up one point from 2015.
  • Safety in the downtown area gained slightly, at 78 percent, up from 76 percent in 2011 and 75 percent in 2015.

2. TRAFFIC

  • Positivity toward traffic flow was 21 percent, down from 33 percent in 2015 and 25 percent in 2011.
  • Positivity toward “overall ease of travel” dropped to 43 percent, down from 56 percent in 2015 (no question asked in 2011).

3. ROADS

  • Only 17 percent are positive toward condition of the streets, compared with 10 percent in 2015 and 17 percent in 2011. The city has been mulling the idea of a street levy to tackle that issue.

4. HOUSING

  • Affordable quality housing gained, too, from 36 percent in 2011 and 38 percent in 2015 to 49 percent this year.
  • 65 percent said they would recommend Hamilton as a place to live if somebody asked. That was up from 59 percent in 2015 and 57 percent in 2011.
  • Meanwhile, 76 percent said they planned to remain in Hamilton for the next five years, down from 83 percent in 2015 and up a bit from 74 percent in 2011.

5. NEW DEVELOPMENT/BUSINESS

  • New development in the city won a 62 percent positive rating, double the rate of 31 percent in 2011 and well up from 47 percent in 2015.
  • 45 percent were positive about Hamilton as a place to work, up from 23 percent in 2011 and 36 percent in 2015.

6. PARKS AND ENTERTAINMENT

  • Parks received 74 percent positivity, up from 61 percent in 2015 and 59 percent in 2011. Public places had 51 percent positivity, up from 31 percent in 2015, the only other year it was asked.
  • 60 percent were positive toward cultural/arts/music activities, way up from 29 percent in 2011 and 58 percent in 2015.

7. OVERALL DIRECTION

  • In one of the most promising signs for the city, 65 percent of residents had positive feelings about Hamilton’s overall direction. That was way up from 27 percent in 2011 and 56 percent in 2015.

The survey was conducted in April for two groups of residents: A mail-out/mail-back method, using randomly chosen residents, and another portion that was an “opt-in” survey with identical questions to the scientific questionnaire that was posted and publicized on the city’s website.

Some 443 people completed the mail survey, with another 574 residents doing the opt-in survey.

The survey is considered to be accurate within 3 percentage points.

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