New Yorkers of virtually all ages, races and geographies agree that the city needs to prioritize making transit safer and reducing homelessness to improve their quality of life, according to the results of an ambitious new survey.
NYC Speaks gathered 62,000 responses to 27 questions on a range of public policy issues, and published a website Tuesday where the answers can be parsed in millions of different ways. The privately run initiative is backed by City Hall and is intended to inform the new administration's policy choices.
Asked to rank the top three ways city government could make neighborhoods safer, the No. 1 answer by far was "build more affordable housing and reduce homelessness." Across borough, age, gender, race, ethnicity, income, LGBTQ identification and housing status, virtually every demographic ranked reducing homelessness first.
(The only exception was those who identified as "East and Southeast Asian," for whom increasing police staffing and presence was far and away the top priority.)
On the question of what would help people move around the city better, the top answer in the survey was "feeling safer riding transit." It was the top response across demographics.
Survey organizers are now planning a series of town halls around the city to review the results, ahead of the delivery of a plan of action to City Hall this June.