More than 70 percent of residents surveyed say Long Beach is an excellent or good place to live, but the cost of living, parking, crime and homelessness remain top concerns.
Those were some of the results of a city survey released this week to gauge resident satisfaction. From May through June of last year, the city surveyed 2,130 people across all nine council districts. Residents were asked a range of questions including how they felt about safety in their neighborhoods and whether they were satisfied with the city’s rate of growth and development. The interviews were conducted in English and Spanish.
Overall, residents generally have a positive outlook toward the city, with 58% saying Long Beach is heading in the “right direction,” but views were somewhat less positive in their own neighborhoods, where only 46% rated their communities as heading in the right direction.
Cost of living was the top concern, with 7 in 10 residents saying that affordability was the biggest problem facing Long Beach. Residents praised qualities such as diversity and location, but two-thirds said they would not describe the city as “affordable.” More than 8 in 10 people rated homelessness as an “extremely” or “very” serious problem.
In addition to cost of living and homelessness, more than 60% of residents cited other major problems including lack of parking; crime, gangs and drugs; and pollution of local beaches and waterways.
As to whether the city can adequately address these problems, residents are mixed. While nearly half of those surveyed think the city listens to its residents and responds to some degree, only 10% “strongly agree” that the city is responsive.
Here are key takeaways:
- Satisfaction depends on where you live. Just over half of residents said they were satisfied with the city’s current rate of growth and development, but residents of the 2nd District, where parking and congestion have long been issues, were more likely to think the city is growing too fast.
- Some districts feel safer than others. Overall, 67% of residents say they feel safe or somewhat safe in their own neighborhoods. The 5th District was the most confident, with 87% of residents reporting that they feel safe. But only half of residents of the 6th and 9th districts say they are feeling safe. In the 6th District, 34% say they feel “totally unsafe.”
- Driving is OK, bicycling is another story. Two-thirds say they feel safe driving in Long Beach, but only 46% feel safe bicycling.
- Residents are less trusting with their tax dollars. While 60% say they trust in the city’s plan for the future, only 49% say they trust the city to properly manage tax dollars.
- Long Beach gets a big thumbs down for street maintenance. Two-thirds are satisfied with how the city maintains its parks and public buildings, but only 3 in 10 people think the city’s streets and roads are in good condition.
- News is changing. More than 6 in 10 residents cited online outlets as their most frequent source for local news.
- City needs more focus on housing and homeless programs. Nearly 70% say they are dissatisfied with the efforts to provide homeless services, while 58% said they are unhappy with the city’s affordable housing problem.
The Long Beach City Council will review the results in its regular meeting at 5 p.m. on Tuesday. Click here to see the survey.