By Jan Wondra
What makes a great city? Its beauty? The quality of its parks and trails? Mobility and ease of travel? Safety? A sense of community? A government that listens to and helps its residents? Apparently in Greenwood Village, all these things contribute to the 98 percent satisfaction with the overall quality of life according to a citizen survey conducted in November 2012 by the Howell Research Group.
This was the city’s sixth citizen survey since 1999, the last conducted more than four years ago in 2008. A statistically reliable total of 1,657 surveys were returned, for a 27.7 percent response rate. Satisfaction with life in the Village has increased between 2001 and 2012 from an average rating of 3.6 to 3.8 on a 4.0 scale.
When asked what they liked most about where they lived, Greenwood Village residents name “parks and trails” as their favorite feature, just as they did in the 2006 and 2008 surveys. Following that favorite feature, residents offered “landscaping/aesthetics/design,” “feelings of safety/security,” “cleanliness/well maintained,” and “rural/low density atmosphere.”
Among the highlights of the findings, 97 percent of all residents feel safe in their homes, with nearly that percentage feeling safe in the shopping areas and in their neighborhood. Perceptions of safety were similar across all council districts. More than eight out of 10 Village residents were satisfied with the presence of police around their home or property.
Greenwood Village residents give extremely high ratings of the appearance of the city. Seventy-two percent approved of street appearance and nine out of 10 residents rated the appearance of streams and drainage ways as clean and attractive. Village parks, trails and open space are residential favorites. Two out of three residents gave excellent ratings for their quality and appearance, as well as the accessibility from their home to Village trails. Rated a bit lower, but still high by eight out of 10 residents was the diversity of recreational opportunities.
While citizens believe it’s extremely easy to get around in the Village, they share a nearly universal concern. Traffic during rush hour is, well, rush hour. They rated efficiency of traffic signals during rush hour times much lower than non-rush hour times, with only 55 percent rating it excellent or good (16 percent). Seven intersections were most often named as problems, with five sharing Belleview as a cross street. Those five include Belleview and I-25, Belleview and Quebec, Belleview and Yosemite, and Belleview and University. Two other intersections made the top seven: Orchard and Quebec was number five, and Orchard and I-25 made number seven.
Greenwood Village citizens feel connected to their city and their government. More than 86 percent read the newsletter and the vast majority of residents said their city keeps them informed about community issues and values. The 59 percent who had interacted with Village staff said their interactions gave them the information they needed. Most important, more than eight out of 10 residents agree they have a high degree of confidence and trust in Village government.
With residents appearing to be so pleased with the city, what issues do Greenwood Village residents want addressed? Only 27 percent of respondents offered anything in the way of suggestions. Of the comments offered, one out of five mentioned something about traffic control, reducing traffic or reducing speed. The next most frequent issue was related to coyotes; the only concern that increased since the 2008 survey. This concern was higher among residents in District 1. Coming in below those two items were street maintenance (5 percent) and new/improved recreation facilities/new recreation center (5 percent).