Biggest Issues Facing the City
Every two years, the City of Round Rock conducts a survey of its citizens to see how well the city government is meeting their needs and to determine the issues of concern to them. Below are the specific questions from the survey and the results. Analysis by Jeff Montgomery of Montgomery & Associates.Sense of SafetyOther City Issues
Key Survey Findings
Biggest issues facing the City
Residents were asked which were the three biggest issues Round Rock will face within the next five years. Below are their responses.
See the graph of these numbers
Population growth/development issues: 42.5 percent
Traffic/transportation issues: 42 percent
Don't know/No opinion: 33.3 percent
Education/school issues: 31.3 percent
Streets/road maintenance/construction: 22.8 percent
Transportation/public transportation: 17 percent
Crime issues: 15.8 percent
Taxes: 13 percent
Public services/city management: 11 percent
Strong economy/employment issues: 9.3 percent
City service issues (fire, police, etc.): 12.1 percent
Other: 6.8 percent
Affordable housing/cost of living issues: 5.3 percent
Water issues: 4.8 percent
Zoning/city planning: 3.5 percent
Smoking/liquor ban: 2 percent
Pro-con/Depends: 0.3 percent
This was an opened-ended question; we did not prompt respondents with any kind of list. Note that since each respondent could give up to three answers, the total of each column is over 100. (Also, since 2002, we calculate “don’t know” answers in a different way, which explains the much higher total this year. This number merely reflects a change in the way we report the data, not the data itself.)
As you can see, traffic control continues its steady drop from its urgent peak in 2000, so much so that it is now tied for first place with growth management, rather than in its usual commanding lead. That speaks very well of the city’s efforts at traffic control in these years—they are working.
However, a related issue—street and road maintenance—has more than doubled as a point of concern since 2002, which suggests that that’s an issue to keep an eye on.
Three major issues—traffic control, managing growth, and schools—have continued to dominate over the past six years, although traffic no longer has the predominance it once did. Street and road maintenance seems to be a rising concern that may join this top three. Also, public transportation has jumped seven points as an important issue for Round Rock residents.
Concern about the economy and jobs, which was nonexistent before 2002, also remains, though it is not rising and may even be falling.
Three other issues that show a slight rise—right at the margin of error—are crime (which had been dropping steadily in our surveys up to this point), city services, and city taxes and tax base. It is possible that these issues are simply rising to their more natural levels now that traffic is less of an overwhelming concern.
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Other City Issues
We asked about several city issues, beginning with whether “if City and School District elections were held in November instead of in May, would you be more likely to vote in them, less likely to vote in them, or wouldn’t that make any difference to you?”
The vast majority—76.8 percent—said it would make no difference to them. However, 20 percent said it would make them more likely to vote in city and school district elections. Only 3.3 percent, a negligible amount, said it would make them less likely. That suggests that while moving the election dates to November is not a pressing issue, it could increase turnout by making voting more convenient for a substantial number of citizens.
Those aged 45-54 were especially likely to say it would make them more likely to vote (29 percent), and those with a college degree or more were more likely to say it would help them vote than those with less education.
We also asked whether last year’s ban on smoking in restaurants “has made you more likely to eat in a Round Rock restaurant, less likely to eat in a Round Rock restaurant,” or made no difference.
51 percent said the ban has made them more likely to eat out in Round Rock. 11.5 percent said it made them less likely. 36.5 percent said it made no difference, and 1 percent did not know.
For some reason, those in the NW quadrant were much more positive about the ban (63.8 percent more likely, 8.8 percent less likely) than those in the NE (42.1 percent more likely, 17.1 percent less likely). Also, the likelihood that the ban had a positive effect on restaurant-going rose with income, from 43.1 percent for those with incomes of $35,000 or less to 60.6 percent for those with incomes of $100,000 or more.
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Sense of safety
We asked respondents, “Do you feel safe walking alone in your neighborhood at night?” Overall, as in all our past surveys, the results were extremely positive: 84.3 percent said yes, only 10.8 percent said no, and 3.8 percent said it would depend. 1.3 percent didn’t know.
We also saw the variations we have come to expect from past surveys. Feelings of safety were higher in the highest income group, at 93.9 percent. Feelings of safety also increased with education, as they have in the past, from 71.9 percent for those with a high school education or less to 92.3 percent for college graduates (this year however we saw a drop among those with graduate degrees, to 82.9 percent).
Those 55 and older feel less safe than other groups (75.8 percent feel safe), and women feel less safe (76 percent) than men (92.5 percent).
Geographically speaking, respondents in the NW quadrant felt safest in their neighborhoods (90 percent) and those in the NE felt least safe (78.9 percent--still a very good number).
As before, these numbers are a very positive sign for Round Rock: the residents in general feel safe in their own neighborhoods.General quality of life questionsTransportation questionsCity services questionsCity's response to problems questionsCity's communication efforts questions
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