Survey: Life is good in Aspen and getting better

By City of Aspen
Real AspenDecember 17, 2012
A random selection of Aspen voters gave the city of Aspen high marks in an annual citizen survey released today, continuing a several-year trend of generally positive feedback.
Ninety-seven percent of Aspen residents enjoy the area's quality of life.
File photo of Maroon Bells by Troy Hooper

Aspen voters say they continue to enjoy a high quality of life and sense of safety in the city. Ninety-seven percent of those surveyed ranked their overall quality of life in Aspen as excellent (66 percent) or good (31 percent), up two percentage points from 2011.

“Each year since 1997 the city of Aspen has asked its citizens how things are going with a resident survey,” said Barry Crook, assistant city manager. “The Aspen Citizen Survey serves as a consumer report card for Aspen by providing registered voters the opportunity to rate their satisfaction with the quality of life, local facilities and services, as well as satisfaction with local government.”

The survey was mailed to a random sampling of 1,200 registered voters with a response rate of 31 percent, which was higher than 2011 when the response rate was 25 percent.

The majority of residents surveyed reported a high level of satisfaction with the services provided by the city. Forty-seven percent reported they were satisfied with city services and 42 percent were somewhat satisfied. Three percent said they were “not at all satisfied,” which is a 1 percent improvement over last year. Some of those services include the Aspen Recreation Center, The Wheeler Opera House, parks and trails, street maintenance and plowing, housing, police, utility billing and Kids First. In general, ratings for each department remained steady from 2011 to 2012 although respondents felt more positively about their interaction finance and transportation and parking departments. The Red Brick Recreation Center, Wheeler Opera House, clerk’s office, finance window, electric, police, and parks departments received the overall highest evaluations with more than 91 percent of respondents saying they were satisfied.

Survey respondents could provide feedback, in their own words, about any city of Aspen services. Of the 124 voters that chose to write in a response, about one in five indicated that they would like to see improvements to transportation related services such as parking, traffic safety or regulations and traffic enforcement for cars, bikes and pedestrians.

On the 2012 survey, as in 2011, the city aimed to gauge the extent to which residents supported or opposed expanding the use of its website to handle transactions in an effort to reduce city costs. Nearly all respondents, 92 percent, support this change.

“The city of Aspen takes resident surveys seriously and uses the results to measure departmental performance,” Crook said. “We also use the surveys to see where change needs to occur in the way we do business.”

Respondents were asked what their greatest concerns were and generally the issues were water quality in the Roaring Fork River, appropriate building height and mass in the downtown core and bike-friendly transportation options within the City.

For a full copy of the survey, click here.

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