Survey: Tigard is just all right with me
- Barbara Sherman
- The Times - News
A random survey of 400 residents in November shows that they are basically satisfied with the city
TIGARD - Most residents are very satisfied with Tigard as a place to live, according to a survey conducted in November.
Probably to no one's surprise, city officials, who commissioned Campbell DeLong Resources Inc. to survey local residents about their satisfaction or dissatisfaction with the city, learned that traffic remains a strong concern.
'Feeling safe, having well-maintained streets and other utilities, and friendly neighborhoods are perceived as a city's most-important characteristics,' the executive summary stated. 'Least-important attributes include active and involved citizens, leisure/cultural activities, and providing jobs within the city.'
As is common with community surveys, Tigard's performance ratings tend to be lower than the importance ratings, but the good news is that performance ratings are in line with the priority of importance that residents place on characteristics, according to the summary.
'As a result, Tigard's 'performance versus importance' map is close to ideal, indicating good alignment in residents' perceptions of how well the city is doing on the issues that are most important to them,' the summary stated.
Tigard officials continue to seek a long-term source of water while being mindful that some citizens are adamant about not using the Willamette River, which voters must approve.
'Assuming that the safety of any new water source is a given, residents say taste is by far the most important criterion in selecting a water source, followed by appearance,' the executive summary states. 'Though still important to residents, the cost and source of the water are clearly lesser considerations for Tigard residents.'
Residents also weighed in on the city's 3-cents-per-gallon gas tax that went into effect April 1 to pay for improvements to the Pacific Highway/Greenburg Road/Main Street intersection.
'Among different scenarios to address the shortfall in gas-tax revenue for the (intersection) improvements, most residents favor the city collecting sufficient funds to complete the project as currently planned,' the summary states. 'Just over one-third favor an extension of the tax past the current five-year limit, and about two in 10 support an increase in the tax so that the funds are raised within five years.
'Another one-third say the city should reduce the scope of the project rather than increase the funds to be collected.'
On the issue of the environment, 'nearly everyone agrees that it is important to protect Tigard's rivers and streams, as well as preserve open space, and a solid majority supports regulations to protect trees,' the summary stated. 'The one environmental value with which most residents do not agree, however, is that 'the city should encourage greater residential density than exists today.'
As for the issue of safety, most residents feel safe and know their neighbors, according to the summary. And as expected, residents feel less certain being safe in downtown Tigard than they are about their own neighborhood.
'There is fairly strong support for the city providing new hike and bike paths and playing fields but only moderate support for offering other recreational programs,' the summary states.
It further notes that most residents have not had any contact with city employees or elected officials and that the Cityscape monthly publication is by far the key source for residents to obtain information about the city.
Eight out of 10 respondents knew the name of the elementary school closest to their house, and the average length of residency is 15 years, with homeowners being longer-term residents than renters. Fully 85 percent of respondents reported that they owned their homes, and home ownership ranges from a high of 99 percent in the Mary Woodward Elementary attendance area to a low of 79 percent in Metzger Elementary's.
The average Tigard adult is 56 years old, and 68 percent of the respondents said that they had no children under the age of 18 in their home. The Templeton Elementary School area is most likely to have children in the home (51 percent) versus Metzger, with 30 percent.
And 94 percent of respondents said that they are registered voters, with voter registration 71 percent for renters versus 96 percent for homeowners.
The majority of Tigard residents are college graduates (33 percent) or have post-graduate education (24 percent), while fewer than two in 10 have only a high school education or below.
Just over half of Tigard's residents are currently employed, but most work outside the city.
For the survey, 400 residents were chosen at random to be interviewed by telephone to come up with the results.