Citizen Survey Report of 2015

by John Kiljan

Dear CLRC members and friends,

Finally! The October 2015 Citizen Survey report is out. The biennial survey was conducted last summer with about 2300 residents receiving a lengthy mail-in survey that probably took an hour to fill out properly. Thankfully, I haven’t received one of those surveys in well over a decade, but I still remember what a pain it was to fill out when I first got one. Here’s special thanks to the 785 Arvada residents (34% of those asked) who did receive the survey and took the time to do all that work!

I haven’t read the whole report yet. It’s well over a hundred pages with lots of numbers. But here are a few quotes that jumped out at me during my first read through:

“Arvada residents experienced a high quality of life.”

“Evaluations for 22 of the 23 City-provided services listed on the survey could be compared to 2013 ratings and most remained stable. However, street maintenance, ease of car travel, sidewalk maintenance, new street construction and expansion, ease of bicycle travel, government-assisted affordable housing, building inspection, and City outreach services received lower ratings in 2015 compared to 2013 ratings.”

Half or more of residents reported being ‘very satisfied’ or ‘satisfied’ with 14 of the 23 services with the most favorable ratings going to City parks, drinking water quality, police services, maintenance of City parks, water services, sewer services, and cultural activities at the Arvada Center.”

“When asked how much of a problem, if at all, a list of 12 different potential problems were in Arvada, respondents reported that the biggest problems facing Arvada were growth (27% ‘major’ or ‘extreme’ problem) and lack of entry-level housing (23%).”

“City of Arvada government performance and City employees were rated highly by residents.”

“Aspects of traffic were seen as more of a problem in 2015 compared to past years.”

“Residents voiced concerns about growth and housing in the community.”

“When asked about rates of various types of growth, concerns about residential growth being too fast have increased from 2013 to 2015 (38% versus 65%, respectively).”

You can download and read the full report with lots of graphics/bar charts/percentages/trends and conclusions at

and there is a web page with links that include citizen surveys done in the past at this link

2015 Satisfaction vs Importance

2015 Satisfaction vs Importance — click to enlarge

What I look for in the surveys is the overall trends. Typically, there is very little difference in the survey results from every-other-year to every-other-year. But over many years, some trends are obvious. I think that’s what the Council looks for as well.

2013 Satisfaction vs Importance

2013 Satisfaction vs Importance — click to enlarge

But they also look for the rarer sudden jumps in service ratings. Street repair is an example in this report. Compare the position of the “street maintenance/street repair” marks on the 2015 report to the 2013 report. That’s a big jump for two years and it is certain to add fuel to the fire when the Council considers what to do about street maintenance in the coming year. As reported earlier, City Staff is recommending over a hundred million dollars increase in road repair funding over the next ten years. Divided into the population of Arvada, that works out to about $400 a year for a family of four over ten years. And that number doesn’t include needed road widening and intersection improvements to relieve congestion.

The Council is expected to meet for a workshop on 25th of January to discuss the survey. The public is invited to sit in and listen to their discussion.

Your views are pretty important to them. If you have thoughts you’d like to share about the survey results, they would probably be glad to hear them. If you do call, be nice, but be warned. They may want to ask you some awkward questions in return, such as, “How much are you willing to pay for better road maintenance?” or “Should we be using more City revenues to subsidize entry-level housing if it means inviting even more people to move into Arvada and fewer public services for us all?”

If you want to talk with your Council members (don’t be afraid, they don’t bite!), you can find a listing of their email addresses and phone numbers on the second page of every issue of the Arvada Report. If for some reason you don’t have a copy, you can view it online at this address:

The Citizens for a Livable Ralston Community is an independent neighborhood association representing the neighborhoods adjacent to Ralston Road from the Wadsworth Bypass to the Kipling Parkway.

You can read all of our articles on our main website at or you can read even more posts on our Facebook page at “CLRC – Citizens for a Liveable Ralston Community”. You can write to us, call us or email us at

c/o John Kiljan, Secretary
6185 Field Street
Arvada, CO 80004


January 13, 2016


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3 Responses to Citizen Survey Report of 2015

  1. ronheard says:

    John Kiljan. As always thank you for this update. Your blogs are always well timed and incredibly well-informed. Thank you for this service to the community!

  2. Thanks for the compliment! — John

  3. Pingback: Better Roads Tax Question | CLRC — Arvada News and Commentary

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