Oak Park is a great place to live and raise a family, but it doesn't come cheap, and parking in the village is still a major concern, according to the results of a survey conducted last year by the village.
Eighty-nine percent of the 417 Oak Park residents who returned the survey say the village has an excellent or good quality of life, and 92 percent said it is a good place to raise children.
Fifty-seven percent said the village is an excellent or good place to retire, which seems to be connected to the perception of availability of affordable housing in general. Only 37 percent of respondents believe affordable housing is excellent or good.
"[The 57 percent figure is] kind of a low number," Rob Cole, assistant village manager, said during a presentation to the village board on Monday. "There's a corollary to that: many of the citizens who participated in this year's survey found that there's an absence of quality affordable housing."
He suggested that their concerns over affordable housing could be a combination of the price and level of taxation in the village.
Displeasure with parking in the village remained steady, with 37 percent reporting that parking is satisfactory, up two percentage points from the 2011 results — the last year the survey was conducted.
In a separate question, 64 percent of respondents said parking is a moderate or major problem.
"We have eased parking and created more parking overnight, but I think as we go forward, we should continue to look at our policies and figure out how to ease parking on our residents and how to make it more friendly," said Village President Anan Abu-Taleb.
Residents said public safety was of less concern, with 94 percent saying they feel safe in their neighborhood during the day. That number dropped to 69 percent after dark.
Only 49 percent felt safe from property crimes such as burglary and theft, and 59 percent said crime in general is a moderate to major problem.
The survey cost the village about $10,000 and was conducted by the National Research Center in Boulder, Co.
Survey results are available on the village website at http://tinyurl.com/kymbyqh.
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