Residents Typically Approve of City Services
By Conor Greene
The results of the first ever New York customer survey show that the majority of residents think the city is doing a decent job in providing basic services.
The New York City Feedback Citywide Customer Survey marks the largest municipal survey in a U.S city. It breaks down responses by borough, and then by local community board, providing a glimpse of how residents feel about services in their specific neighborhoods. Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum unveiled the survey results last week at the Forest Hills Library.
“In the private sector, I learned you can never acquire too much pertinent data to help improve your business,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “With the economy causing tax revenues to fall, it’s more important than ever for city agencies to be effective, efficient and responsive.”
The survey was sent in June to about 135,000 randomly-selected residents, with 24,339 people responding. It included 34 questions about city services and quality of life issues, with residents responding excellent, good, fair or poor to each.
In Queens, 13 percent of residents rated their neighborhood as excellent, with 50 percent ranking it as good, 28 as fair, and 8 percent as poor. Citywide, 15 percent of respondents rated their neighborhood as excellent, 44 percent as good, 29 percent as fair and 12 percent as poor.
Overall, the survey found that 44 percent of residents rated city services as fair, 28 percent as good and 4 percent rated them as excellent. In addition, 75 percent rated the city public school system as fair, good or excellent. Senior services and community centers, which might be overhauled as part of a program the mayor is pushing, received the highest score, with 64 percent rating them as good or excellent.
The five most important issues for New Yorkers are housing, education, mass transit, crime and cost of living, in that order. The top ranked neighborhood was Manhattan’s Upper West Side, and the area with the lowest ranking was Morrisania in the Bronx.
Locally, the majority of residents in Forest Hills and Rego Park (Community Board 6) rated their neighborhood as excellent(26 percent) or good (57 percent), with just 1 percent describing it as poor. The 326 respondents rated mass transit, housing and education as the most important issues facing the city, and fire protection, emergency medical services and crime control ranked among the highest rated services. Among the lowest rated services were availability of cultural activities, control of street noise, sewer maintenance, pedestrian safety and street maintenance.
In the areas served by Community Board 5, including Ridgewood, Maspeth, Glendale and Middle Village, 338 residents ranked education, taxes and housing as the three most important issues facing the city. Fire protection, recycling, garbage pickup, emergency medical services and crime control were among the highest rated services, while street maintenance, cultural activities, sewer maintenance, street noise and graffiti control ranked among the lowest rated services.
The Mayor’s Office of Operations will further analyze the results and work with city agencies to improve the delivery of services. “We will be using these results, along with our other performance measurements, to hold city agencies accountable for the quality of the service they are responsible for delivering,” said Jeff Kay, director of the Mayor’s Office of Operations.
To view detailed results listed by community board, check nyc.gov.