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Homelessness and Traffic Top Resident Concerns:

A 2007 Santa Monica resident survey that was presented to the City Council at the March 20 meeting found that homelessness and traffic are the issues that most concern residents.

Another issue of great importance to residents is affordable housing. Lack of parking, overcrowding, gangs and crime are also concerns.

Goodwin, Simon and Victoria Research performed the survey in January by conducting 417 telephone interviews Citywide in both English and Spanish. The survey is done about every two years.

The survey also asked questions about City services, and found that satisfaction levels remained above 80 percent when compared with earlier surveys. There was an increase in positive ratings for operating efficiently. However, a negative rating was given for how money is spent and assorted problems, but it was less negative than in 2005.

The City services that received the highest ratings for resident satisfaction were library services, landscaping, fire services, tree trimming and environmental protection. Those City services that received the lowest ratings were services related to traffic, homelessness and enforcing laws about overnight camping and panhandling. Compared to 2005, there were more negative responses about how the City is dealing with traffic, noise laws and emergency 911 services.

When questions were asked on how well the City addresses neighborhood concerns, those interviewed were just as divided as they were in 2005. When asked about safety, more than 90 percent stated they feel safe during the day and almost 70 percent feel safe in their neighborhoods at night, with similar results in business areas. These results have been consistent since the 2000 survey.

The survey also found that in 2006 49 percent of residents contacted City departments for non-emergency purposes. These communications were more likely to be made by homeowners, residents and those with more education.

Lastly, the survey asked questions about resident attendance at local arts/cultural activities. The survey found that 49 percent of the respondents participated in Santa Monica arts/cultural activities in 2006, with Caucasians and educated residents more likely to have attended these functions.

After hearing the survey results, Councilmember Kevin McKeown emphasized, “I still believe there’s a lot more we can do and need to do to address traffic or mobility in Santa Monica.”

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