Powell's small-town atmosphere is what most surveyed residents like about living in the city.

Powell's small-town atmosphere is what most surveyed residents like about living in the city.

That answer was given by 61percent of the 400 randomly selected registered Powell voters surveyed by phone in June. The response increased by three percentage points from a similar survey conducted in 2008.

The survey was conducted by Saperstein Associates Inc. Marty Saperstein presented the survey results to city council July 20.

"This research gives the residents of Powell a voice," Saperstein said. "It allows the voting public to express opinions on myriad local issues and provides city council important data as planning the community's future continues.

"Because a similar study was conducted two years ago, city officials can observe how opinions have changed. ... When you see numbers go up and down, we'll have to ask is there other evidence in the survey to suggest that opinions have changed or is it just noise in the data, from a different random sampling?" he said.

Concerns about traffic in the city topped many of the responses.

As with the 2008 survey, 54 percent were either somewhat or very dissatisfied with city officials' efforts to manage the flow of traffic in the city.

In a related question, 41 percent of those surveyed said their largest concern was traffic. The next greatest concern was taxes, the response of 18 percent of those responding.

Residents seem to have changed their opinions on whether it's more important to reduce traffic or retain the downtown area's charm. Forty-nine percent want to reduce the traffic, up 5 percentage points from 2008. Fewer people, 44 percent, thought it was more important to retain the area's charm, down from 2008's 53 percent.

Sixty-one percent of the respondents said Powell needs more public parking downtown, up five percentage points from 2008.

Other results include:

96 percent of the respondents were very or somewhat satisfied with the police protection, with 78 percent being very satisfied. Those numbers are the same as those from the 2008 survey.

47 percent said Powell is an exceptional place to live. That number is down from 2008's 52 percent.

79 percent of those surveyed said Powell is heading in the right direction, up 2 percent from 2008 numbers.

87 percent of those surveyed were very or somewhat satisfied with the city's parks and rec programs, up 4 percent from the 2008 numbers.

86 percent of the respondents were very or somewhat satisfied with the city's parks, open spaces and bike paths, a decrease from 2008's 91-percent.

74 percent of those surveyed were very or somewhat satisfied with the city's efforts to revitalize downtown Powell, down from 83 percent in the 2008 survey.

70 percent of the respondents were very or somewhat satisfied with how city officials manage the city finances, up from 62 percent in 2008.

The survey sample was proportional to the number of residents in Powell's voting precincts and in the city's population demographics, documents from the meeting show. It cost the city $16,000.