Philadelphia residents want better streets, policing, and public safety services.
And two-thirds of residents believe the quality of the city’s services is fair or poor, according to a detailed survey conducted by Mayor Jim Kenney’s administration.
The city launched the survey in August, asking almost 20,000 residents about city services, the work of various departments, and quality of life issues.
Top concerns expressed in the survey align with Kenney’s second-term priorities. The mayor pledged last week in his inaugural address to confront gun violence and reduce crime, and he cited the survey in promising to improve streets.
“Overwhelmingly, people were most concerned with the condition of our streets,” Kenney said. “So, let me say that we’ve heard you loud and clear, and making our streets safer and cleaner will be another major priority.”
Invitations to participate in the survey, completed in partnership with Temple University’s Institute for Survey Research, were mailed to some residents’ homes in an address-based sample and also made publicly available online. Results were weighted to reflect the city’s population by gender, age, ethnicity, race, education, and income level.
When rating overall city services, 31.3% of residents said services are good or excellent, while 67.5% said they are fair or poor. The most popular answer was fair; 45% of residents gave that response.
Those responses show a slightly lower level of satisfaction than a similar 2016-17 survey. In that survey, 64% of residents said city services were fair or poor and 35% said they were good or excellent.
When asked for the top issue that the city should focus on improving, 15.6% of residents said streets, sanitation, and water, 9.1% said street repair and condition, and 8.6% said street cleaning.
The Kenney administration added a second street paving crew to the city in his first term and vowed to add a third crew so the city will be repaving 131 miles per year by the end of his second term.
Residents reported that they would like more information about street projects; 70% named it as an area in which they would like the city to improve communication.
The survey also found that residents are not satisfied with street cleaning in the city, with 78% saying that it is poor or fair.
Kenney has vowed to implement citywide street sweeping by 2023. Neighborhood street sweeping has not occurred regularly in Philadelphia for years, and Kenney began a pilot program in six neighborhoods last year that he now says will be expanded.
Residents also identified police and public safety as top issues, with 24% of residents selecting one of those two categories as the most important area for improvement.
Ratings were mixed on police services. Almost 48% of residents said they would rank police services as good or excellent, and about 48% said they were fair or poor.
Here are some other survey responses related to police and public safety:
Kenney has said reducing gun violence and making the city safer and more just are his top priorities for the next four years. He appointed Portland, Ore., police chief Danielle Outlaw as the city’s new police commissioner and vowed to transform community relations and reform the police department.
Here are some other notable survey results:
The mayor vowed to continue using survey results to prioritize the city’s focus areas and funding.