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Chapel Hill Earns High Marks from Residents

Post Date:05/17/2018 9:29 AM

Chapel Hill ranks as a “high performing city” with 81 percent of residents reporting satisfaction with the overall quality of life in Chapel Hill, according to results released this month from the Community Survey.

The Community Survey serves as a consumer report card for the Town. Residents rate the quality of life, and their satisfaction with services and local government. Town of Chapel Hill leaders have been listening and responding to what people have to say since launching the first survey in 2009.

“The Community Survey is part of our overall effort to identify priorities for community planning and resource allocation,” said Town Manager Roger Stancil. “The one consistent finding over 10 years of surveys is that our residents rate the quality of core services very highly, which is a tribute to our excellent employees.”

According to benchmarking analysis provided by ETC Institute, Chapel Hill residents’ satisfaction with the quality of services rates at 79 percent – which is 30 percentage points higher than the U.S. average and 28 percentage points higher than the Atlantic regional average. 

Notable increases in satisfaction since the last survey are in response to availability and maintenance of sidewalks, overall effectiveness of Town communication, quality of Chapel Hill Transit and how well the Town is preparing for the future.

Short-term decreases in satisfaction are in response to the level of public involvement in decision making, ease of use of parking payment options, maintenance of streets, and access to information about Town issues and events.

By Listening and Responding, the Town has made progress in many areas.

  • Areas that saw a more than a 10 percentage point increase from the last survey were the maintenance of sidewalks which received a 59 percent satisfaction rate -- and, overall effectiveness of Town communication with the public, which received a 61 percent satisfaction rate.
  • Maintenance and preservation of downtown consistently ranks as a community priority. This year, the Town made improvements to Rosemary Street, added street lighting, crosswalks and mini parks; and improved alleyways in the downtown. Satisfaction in this area has seen an increase of 10 percentage points since from the first survey in 2009. 
  • Satisfaction with the availability of sidewalks has increased 12 percentage points since 2009.
  • While traffic flow persists as a key concern, this year’s survey shows an increase of 7 percentage points in satisfaction with “overall management of traffic flow” from the 2015 survey. 
  • We have made numerous improvements since hearing the community’s desire for more bike lanes and greenways. Satisfaction with the availability of greenways is at 68 percent this year – an increase of 6 percentage points since 2015 – and, 15 percentage points since 2009.

Survey data from the past 10 years has been added to the Chapel Hill Open Data Portal at Survey reports are also available at



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