Mar 232004
 
Authors: James Baetke

The results of the Fort Collins 2003 Citizen Survey are in, and

based on the findings, residents expressed community appreciation

for its small-town “feel,” but expressed dislike of traffic and the

cost of living.

Among the respondents, 65.2 percent disliked the amount of

traffic in the city, and 23.8 percent of respondents reported they

disliked the cost of living in the city.

Vantage Marketing Research, Inc., conducted the survey and

released their findings in a December 49-paged report. The survey

received a 47 percent response rate to the 1,681 qualified surveys

sent via postal mail.

Ron Phillips, the Fort Collins director of transportation

services, said that even though people may dislike the traffic

congestion in the city, voters did not approve transportation

ballot issues in November 2002 and April 2003 to increase the

financing in transportation.

“Traffic seems to be a common concern throughout the country. It

is a concern everywhere,” Phillips said.

Phillips admits that the city has congestion problems at peak

times during the day and week, but insisted transportation problems

in Fort Collins do not compare to other cities.

Despite voters rejecting additional transportation finances, the

Fort Collins City Council recently voted to adopt the

Transportation Master Plan that has been in the works for the last

18 months.

CSU off-campus students and those in dormitories were among the

785 contributors throughout city limits who answered questions

about city government, services, economics and budget priorities,

among other issues in the survey.

The featured respondents said the most attractive aspects of

Fort Collins are the city’s size, location and people.

Approximately 47 percent of the respondents said that the proximity

to outdoor venues was what they liked most about Fort Collins,

while about 25.7 percent said the small-town atmosphere was what

they most enjoyed.

“Our survey research is varied. We focus on the public sector,”

said Jim Eshelman, president of Vantage Marketing Research, who

also said the survey and report for Fort Collins took about two

months but would not reveal how much it cost the city.

Other clients of Eshelman include the city of Loveland, the

Regional Transportation District and the city of Greenwood Village.

Eshelman said it was important to include CSU students in the

survey because he wanted a proper representation of the

community.

Shandora Levey, a Fort Collins resident for 10 years, said she

has seen Fort Collins grow since she has been here and is, overall,

pleased with the aesthetics and open space in the surrounding area

of Fort Collins.

“Living in Fort Collins gives residents the opportunity to get

away from big city life to enjoy the outdoors,” Levey said.

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