Improving traffic flow is the most important priority for Dublin residents, according to the city's latest National Citizen Survey.

The survey, conducted by the National Research Center Inc., and the International City/County Management Association, polled residents on several topics, such as safety, mobility, economy, recreation and wellness.

Results were shared at the Dublin City Council meeting April 9.

The survey also included topics specific to Dublin, such as the Bridge Street district and the historic district.

A total of 1,500 residents representing the city's four wards randomly were selected to participate in the survey by mail. Of that number, 495 residents participated.

The city spent a little less than $17,000 for the survey, said Sue Burness, Dublin's communications and public-information director.

The city also conducted surveys in 2015, 2012 and 2009.

City priorities

Improving traffic flow stood out as the highest priority among several potential city actions, including enhancing the city's river front, adding shops and restaurants, preserving the historic district, acquiring more parkland, expanding recreation programming and adding fine arts opportunities.

Fifty-eight percent of those surveyed said improving traffic flow on Dublin's streets and roads was a high priority. Thirty-nine percent said it was a medium priority, and 4 percent said it was a low priority.

After traffic flow, survey respondents gave the next highest priority to encouraging more shops and restaurants to locate in Dublin, as well as enhancing the city's river front for outdoor recreation.

Only 15 percent of those surveyed said expanding the number and types of public fine-arts opportunities was a high priority.

Bridge Street district

The city also focused on gathering opinions about its Bridge Street district, and results showed favorable impressions of the district increased from 2015 responses.

This year, 87 percent of survey responders had a favorable impression of the Bridge Street district (44 percent had a very favorable impression, and 43 percent had a somewhat favorable impression).

That's a slight increase over 2015 survey results, in which 84 percent of responders had a favorable impression of the district.

The open-ended comments about the district's design had about the same number of positive and negative comments, said Martin Saperstein, Saperstein Associates founder.

But the majority of those who gave negative comments about the design were residents who had lived in the city for more than 20 years, Saperstein said.

Donna Goss, Dublin's development director, said she was not surprised by Saperstein's findings.

"I think sometimes change is difficult for people," she said, and sometimes, people take a bit more time to get used to new things.

The correlation between length of residency and impressions of the historic district is something to think about as the city changes, Goss said. City officials also need to consider the duration of construction in an area as well, she said.

City satisfaction

Dublin earned high marks for city services, according to survey results, in areas such as safety and recreation and wellness.

Those surveyed also had a strongly positive opinion about their place of residence, with 71 percent rating Dublin as an excellent place to live, and 28 percent describing it as a good place to live.

The surveys help the city gauge community reaction to understand how the city's actions are impacting residents, Goss said.

In the past, the city has used survey results to influence projects such as Riverside Crossing Park, Burness said.

"That emerged as a priority in past surveys" going back to 2009, Burness said.

Previous survey information also help form policy and direction of the city's Bridge Street district, she said.

Survey results can be found on the city's website, www.dublinohiousa.gov.

ssole@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekSarah