Residents have say in survey of Naperville
Sun Staff February 22, 2013 11:48AM
Ashley Petitt, an ovarian cancer survivor, and her fiance Alex Robledo, both of Naperville, take a walk along the Riverwalk in Naperville Monday, APril 26, 2010. The couple take walks there every Monday. | Jonathan Miano~Sun-Times Media
Updated: March 25, 2013 6:39AM
The city asked residents what they think about Naperville, and the results are now in.
The survey showed that the majority of the 1,581 randomly selected residents who responded were very satisfied with city services and life in Naperville.
Not that there aren’t issues that need to be dealt with, survey respondents said, with traffic congestion being the top problem area. Also, although 58 percent said they felt safe in downtown Naperville after 10 p.m., 25 percent said they had mixed feelings on the issue and 17 percent said they felt unsafe there after that hour.
The full survey results are available at www.naperville.il.us/citizensurvey.aspx. In addition, paper copies will be available this week at the City Clerk’s office in the Naperville Municipal Center, 400 S. Eagle St., and at all three Naperville Public Library branches.
On the good side, the survey showed:
91 percent of the residents surveyed who had an opinion were satisfied with the overall quality of life in Naperville, which is comparable to a similar survey taken in 2008.
92 percent of those surveyed who had an opinion were satisfied with the quality of fire and emergency medical services, 85 percent were satisfied with garbage/recycling/yard waste services and 84 percent were satisfied with police services.
Other results showed residents had a high level of satisfaction with public works services, electrical utility services, water/wastewater utility services and public information.
The city’s numbers in those areas are all above national averages.
However, on the down side, there were a few areas where Naperville finished below the national average:
Flow of traffic and congestion management.
Public transportation services.
Household hazardous waste disposal services.
Visibility of police in neighborhoods.
Quality of city’s TV station.
Issues that residents said should receive the most increase in emphasis from the city include traffic congestion, maintenance of streets and sidewalks and police services.
However, with police services, 97 percent of residents who had an opinion on the survey felt safe in their neighborhoods, 93 percent felt their children’s school is safe and 92 percent felt safe in downtown Naperville before 10 p.m. However, 17 percent did say they felt unsafe downtown after 10 p.m.
Mayor A. George Pradel said the survery results are important to city officials.
“Thank you to everyone who gave of their time and opinions in the latest citizen survey,” Pradel said. “I am so pleased that the results showed people were largely satisfied with their quality of life in Naperville. ... We will take these results to heart, use them to establish priorities and continue to look at ways to make more positive changes throughout the city.”
Last fall, the survey was distributed via mail to a random sampling of 2,500 households throughout the community. In addition to those households randomly chosen to participate, the city made the survey available electronically to all residents who wished to respond. Those self-selected responses are included in the final report.
Results from the 2008 Citizen Survey helped the city make several changes to a variety of services, such as beter information access and sidewalk installation, city officials said.
The city will use the 2012 survey results as the basis for the city’s revised strategic plan effort beginning later this spring.