Public Policy Center, University of Nebraska


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TAKING CHARGE 2017 Satisfaction of Residents of Lincoln, Nebraska FINAL REPORT October 9, 2017. Nebraska Public Policy Center, 215 Centennial Mall South, Suite 401, Lincoln, NE 68588-0228


Between June and August of 2017, a satisfaction survey was completed by more than 1,200 randomly-selected Lincolnites (a random sample, yielding confidence intervals ranging from +/- 1-3% for the full sample, and +/- 2-8% at the district level, at the 95% confidence level1). Listed below are the main findings from that survey, including those obtained from examining the overall sample, and from comparisons among Lincoln’s four City Council Districts.

Overall Satisfaction Ratings

• On average, Lincoln residents reported greater satisfaction than dissatisfaction with most City services in 2017. The average levels of satisfaction were significantly above 3.0 (neutral) for 20 of 22 mean levels of service. As was the case in prior years, some of the highest ratings were given for overall quality of life and fire and emergency medical/ambulance services. This year, we also assessed satisfaction with police services, which was also rated very highly.

• The lowest rated service was street maintenance, which was also rated lowest in 2012 and 2015. Street maintenance was the only service upon which City residents, on average, expressed dissatisfaction (that is, a rating that was significantly different from neutral and reflecting dissatisfaction rather than satisfaction). Across districts, street maintenance was rated similarly low.

• Ease of car travel also was rated low, with an average rating that was not significantly different from neutral and was significantly lower than in 2012. Ease of car travel was rated lowest by residents living in District 2.

• Examination of the 5-year trends in satisfaction ratings for City services demonstrated more areas of satisfaction increase than decrease. Satisfaction with overall quality of life, appearance and cleanliness of the City, the City’s safety and security, recreational opportunities, employment opportunities, ease of bike travel, health department services, job creation/economic development, and snowplowing of City streets showed statistically significant improvement since 2012. Positive 2-year trends included satisfaction with fire and emergency medical services, Lincoln’s overall natural environment, management of sewage and storm water, and street maintenance; each of which increased significantly since 2015.

• There were fewer areas of satisfaction decrease. Though average ratings indicated more resident satisfaction than dissatisfaction, availability of affordable housing and City recycling and sustainability demonstrated a downward trend over the past five years. As previously noted, satisfaction with ease of car travel also showed a significant decrease since 2012, resulting in average ratings not significantly different from neutral in 2017.