National Citizen Survey reports for the Borough of Conshohocken (published December, 2017)
The Borough worked closely with the National Research Center (NRC) to complete a National Citizen Survey (NCS) tailored specifically to the Borough of Conshohocken. The survey consisted of 6 pages, and all questions were in a multiple-choice format. Survey questions asked residents to rate their experiences related to eight categories pertaining to the quality of life in Conshohocken. These components included: Safety, Mobility, Natural Environment, Built Environment, Economy, Recreation and Wellness, Education and Enrichment, and Community Engagement.
Overall 95% of Conshohocken residents rated the Borough as an excellent or good place to live, and at least 7 in 10 residents felt favorably about most aspects of the community.
Within the eight facets of community, at least 9 in 10 residents gave favorable evaluations of Safety characteristics, similar to national benchmarks. Residents tended to rate aspects of Mobility as similar to or higher than national averages, and at least half of respondents awarded favorable scores to most measures. Borough respondents were especially engaged in activities related to Mobility; about two-thirds indicated they had used public transportation instead of driving and about 8 in 10 had walked or biked instead of driving. However, residents were less pleased with public parking and traffic flow and these ratings were lower than communities elsewhere.
Within Economy, the vibrancy of the downtown area, employment opportunities and the Borough as a place to work all stood above the benchmark; all other aspects were similar to the comparison communities except for shopping opportunities, which was rated lower than the national average.
All aspects of Natural Environment, Built Environment, Recreation and Wellness and Community Engagement were similar to other municipalities nationally. Within Education and Enrichment, all were on par with the benchmark, with the exception of two areas, opportunities to attend cultural/arts/music activities and adult education, which residents rated below the national averages.
Overall residents identified Safety, Built Environment and Economy as priorities in the coming two years. In addition, approximately 9 in 10 survey respondents identified improving traffic and road conditions to be essential or very important and at least half placed high importance on improving public transportation. Furthermore, close to 8 in 10 reported that protecting natural resources and growth management were priorities. Less than half of participants thought providing additional community recreation facilities or increasing the amount of activities for seniors was essential or very important.
The NCS results will serve as a valuable resource to Borough Council and the Comprehensive Plan Task Force, who is currently in the process of creating a 10-year operating plan for Conshohocken.
“It is not surprising to me that 95% of residents rated the Borough of Conshohocken as an excellent or good place to live. More importantly, the data provides valuable insight into resident identified priorities: Safety, Built Environment and Economy. This data is invaluable because it highlights characteristics of the community that matter most to residents specifically the areas of operation where we need to focus our attention and make improvements” said Interim Borough Manager Stephanie Cecco. "We thank all residents who participated in the community survey.
The Borough and the NRC finalized all survey materials in late July 2017.The survey was conducted using two methods. The first was through mail. The NRC randomly selected households within Conshohocken Borough limits. Notifications regarding the survey’s release were announced on the Borough website and via post cards in early August. A copy of the mailed survey was sent to households on August 11, 2017 and August 18, 2017.
The second method was an opt-in online survey, which was available to all other residents on September 8, 2017 through the Borough website. The data collection period for both the mailed survey and online opt-in survey ended on October 6, 2017. The Borough of Conshohocken would like to thank all who participated! Overall, the Borough’s response rate was above average at 30%.
About The National Citizen Survey ™ (The NCS™): The NSC gathers resident opinion across a range of community issues. Communities using The NCS have reported that the tool improved service delivery, strengthened communications with community stakeholders and helped leaders identify clear priorities for use in strategic planning and budget setting. The NCS is the only citizen survey endorsed by the International City/County Management Association and the National League of Cities.