Scarborough survey: Residents satisfied with police, fire depts., want more pedestrian safety

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SCARBOROUGH — A town survey of 244 residents found that in addition to being satisfied with the quality of life in Scarborough, most were also happy with the fire, rescue and police departments’ response times and quality of service.

The survey, conducted in December, was designed by the Worcester Regional Research Bureau and was utilized by towns all over New England. The town sent the survey to more than 1,300 randomly selected residents.

Just over 93 percent of those polled owned their homes, while the remaining 7 percent were renters. More than half of the respondents were between 45 and 64 years old, while nearly 24 percent were over 65.

Of those who reported utilizing the Fire Department’s services, 98 percent responded that they were very satisfied or satisfied with the department’s quality of service. For the Police Department, nearly 90 percent reported being satisfied or very satisfied.

However, lower ratings were given to pedestrian safety, with less than half of respondents reporting conditions as excellent or good. Respondents also gave lower ratings to the quality of street lighting.

The survey also asked respondents to rate the school system, from the quality of the curriculum, to satisfaction with athletics and the administrators.

Of those who reported using the town’s public school system, 71.3 percent reported being very satisfied or satisfied with the district’s administrators, while 81.6 percent of that same group reported being happy with the overall education provided. Nearly 94 percent of respondents were pleased with the athletics offered through the schools.

Respondents seemed to favor mixed-use zoning over residential, commercial or industrial and were in favor of preserving more open space.

Most were in favor of adding and improving sidewalks and making accommodations for bicycles, while nearly 70 percent of respondents reported that they would not use a bus service if one were available.

Just over a quarter of respondents reported being unhappy with the leadership of their elected officials, while a smaller minority reported being unhappy with appointed officials.

More than 68 percent of respondents said their primary source for information about the town comes from local newspapers.

Emily Parkhurst can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 125 or eparkhurst@theforecaster.net

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