Engineering, planning and design firm Bayer Becker is hosting a series of symposiums in 2013, each one focused on a different Cincinnati neighborhood. Walnut Hills was the first to be featured, and we were glad for the opportunity recently to talk about all the good things happening in our neighborhood!
In an effort to obtain information about the perception of safety in our neighborhood, the Walnut Hills Redevelopment Foundation (WHRF) conducted a baseline survey during February which was received by both residents and non-residents. A total of 158 surveys were completed with 105 (or 66%) identified themselves as living in the 45206 area code. There were responses from residents of 28 other neighborhoods. Keep reading for a summary of the results, or download the complete results as a PDF
The survey was part of the partnership the WHRF has with LISC who provided grant funding for the Foundation to participate in their national Community Safety Initiative (CSI). CSI has provided guidance to communities interested in establishing police/community partnerships and has promoted cross-site learning to help practitioners replicate successful strategies across the country since 1984.
Our survey was distributed to email lists by the Walnut Hills Area Council, Walnut Hills Business Group, members of the WHRF Board of Directors. It was placed on the WHRF website as well as included in the February distribution of the WHRF e-newsletter. In addition to the online requests, the WHRF distributed surveys at the February meeting of the Walnut Hills Area Council and partnered with neighborhood businesses and organizations to provide hard copy/in person responses at the following locations:
- Cincinnati Public Library, Walnut Hills Branch
- Parkside Café
- Bush Recreation Center
- The Brew House
The survey actively accepted responses for a total of 14 days.
Walnut Hills is seen as safe by residents with 82.7% responding that they feel safe “most of the time” and 11.5% feel safe “all of the time
The top four quality of life issues that residents identified as the “biggest” problems were:
- Drug Activity (62.7%)
- Trash (52.4%)
- Nuisance Properties (50.0%)
- Robbery/Theft (39.0%)
The four quality of life issues that residents identified as “occasional” problems were:
- Violent Crime (55.7%)
- Robbery/Theft (56.0%)
- Gang Activity (48.5%)
- Poor Street Lighting (45.9%)
While loitering and panhandling were not provided options, the dominate write in responses for “other comments” included these two offenses.
Residential respondents saw Walnut Hills as a good place to live with 52.4% responding that they are “somewhat satisfied” and 23.2% are “very satisfied” with Walnut Hills as a place to live. However, there is significant improvement needed in the overall physical appearance and cleanliness of Walnut Hills (apartment and building conditions, litter, lighting at night, abandoned cars, open lots with garbage, etc.). A total of 50.4% of residents described the overall appearance as poor and needing many improvements 48.5% described the overall appearance as fair and needing some improvements.
On the question of is the neighborhood getting better 58.3% believe that it has gotten better in the last twelve months, while 35.9% feel that it has stayed the same.
The WHRF anticipates conducting annual safety perceptions surveys as one of the opportunities to receive feedback from the community.
About the CSI:
The Community Safety Initiative (CSI) is a national program of LISC which supports strategic partnerships among law enforcement, residents, business owners and members of other neighborhood institutions to reduce crime and spur investment in troubled neighborhoods. Since 1994, CSI has helped establish police/community partnerships in dozens of cities nationwide, and has promoted cross-site learning to help practitioners replicate successful strategies. By adapting proven models to fit local circumstances, CSI partners are saving time and resources and achieving more sustained improvements in community safety.