What Naperville residents like, dislike about the suburb

A recent survey of Naperville resident shows what they like and what they don’t about the community:

The 2012 community survey was Naperville’s first in four years, netting 1,581 responses that will be used to create a strategic plan this summer…

The survey found 91 percent of respondents were satisfied with the overall quality of life in Naperville. Looking at city services, 92 percent were satisfied with fire and emergency medical services, 85 percent gave good marks to garbage and recycling services and 84 percent were satisfied with police services. Overall city service satisfaction levels were consistent no matter which part of town the resident lived in…

Traffic flow fared the worst with only 40 percent of residents saying they are satisfied, which is a 10 percent increase from the previous survey…

Compared to the rest of the country the city scored at or above the national average in 36 of 44 areas like overall quality of city services, city streets, sidewalks and infrastructure and overall image of the community. Residents’ satisfaction with overall quality of city services rated 32 percent above national average.

The city scored below the national average in eight areas including traffic flow, public transportation and household hazardous waste disposal service.

The national comparisons are pretty interesting here. The article goes on to suggest this is due, at least in part, to effective planning and responses from the city. This is likely true to some degree; Naperville sees itself as a leader for providing efficient and effective local services. On the other hand, I wonder how much of this is due to the relative wealth of Naperville. Considering its size, Naperville is unusually wealthy with plenty of good jobs which can then lead to good schools and more money for quality of life concerns like parks, libraries, parks, and lots of retailers.

The traffic issue is a tough one to solve in Naperville. Of course, much of the suburb is made up of auto-dependent neighborhoods. Couple this with Naperville’s wealth of jobs and attractive downtown and there is plenty of driving around. The city has three highways on its edges, I-88 on the north, I-355 on the east, and I-55 on the south, but the local main streets are quite clogged. This is an issue particularly going north-south as Route 59, Washington Street, and Naper Boulevard are quite crowded. Mass transit is available to Chicago, and Naperville has two of the busiest stops in the entire Metra commuter system, but transit is limited within the city outside of some shuttles to and from the train stations. I think the real question is whether the traffic in Naperville is bad enough for residents and business to not locate or stay in the community. If a number of the other indicators are so high, I would think not but bad traffic, particularly in auto-dependent places like big suburbs, can be quite irritating.

0 thoughts on “What Naperville residents like, dislike about the suburb

  1. Pingback: “Five reasons to expand Chicago transit now” | Legally Sociable

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