Survey shows some SeaTac residents feel unsafe, but it’s a good place to live


by Jack Mayne

A tiny percentage of SeaTac residents say they often feel unsafe and that was expressed in the concern for both auto thefts and general thefts, but residents also believed the city was a good place to live and the residential areas are well kept and clean.

The survey was made public Thursday night at a dinner meeting at Bow Elementary School (download PDF here).

The real problem of the city staff-created 2015 SeaTac Resident Satisfaction Survey is that it was responded to by less than 1 percent of the city’s 26,000 residents. It was not drafted by a professional survey organization and the city did not mail out the questions to the entire city population, but instead depended upon people finding the survey online plus some surveys taken out by city officials or collected by volunteers some filled out at the King County Library branch.

Only 299 surveys were turned in, 127 via email, 13 people used a printed form; people talking with citizens filled out another 149 surveys. Volunteers working at the library collected 10 more.

Professional surveys that can be relied upon for accurate information require that well over half, or in this case, 13,000 responses would be needed in order for it to be a valid survey. In a survey of this small a return, the city should only report that these are the opinions of a small number of the entire population, which it appears to be doing.

Not all respondents replied to every question.

Good place but often unsafe
A majority of the respondents think SeaTac is a good place to live, with 19 percent strongly agreeing, 44 percent just agreeing, the survey showed. Another 18 percent said they were neutral, and 18 percent said it was not a good place, with 6 percent of those strongly disagreeing that SeaTac is a good place to live.

Feeling safe living in SeaTac was another topic of the survey and here only 94 percent of those returning the survey replied. Figures showed that 28 percent of the respondents thought SeaTac made them feel safe, 26 percent had a neutral view and 40 percent said they did not feel safe living here.

Auto thefts and all other kind of theft were cited by 92 percent as the reasons they felt unsafe in the city, while 69 percent cited drug problems and that were not enough sidewalks as reasons for not feeling safe.


Unsafe areas
The report included a color-coded map (above) showing areas that survey respondents felt unsafe in. The areas included all along International Boulevard, areas around Sunset and North SeaTac Park, as well as the McMicken Heights area and Valley Ridge Park area. Another area residents felt unsafe in was the area on the west side of Angle Lake area long the main highway.

The survey showed that 73 percent of respondents were either neutral or felt they could find the kinds of housing they needed in SeaTac, but 24 percent said they could not, and cost and safety were the reasons for 56 percent of respondents, along with overall housing quality and whether it was clean and well kept for another 47 percent of respondents, the study report showed.

Most said they felt their neighborhood was clean and well kept, but 23 percent did not agree with that assessment.

A 70 percent majority agreed that they could easily access goods and services but 23 percent said they could not.

The survey said over half said it was difficult to find healthy restaurants and a farmer’s market while 46 percent said it was a bit easier to find groceries and medical care.

Right parks mix
Despite a high media reaction to trash and dangerous junk at North SeaTac Park a couple of weeks ago, 43 percent of residents answering the survey thought the parks have “the right mix.” Another 30 percent has no opinion and 24 percent said the parks did not have that “right mix.” More play equipment was the most cited need, along with a lesser demand for picnic shelters and “water spray parks.”

Most people in the survey agreed by 70 percent that “I can easily access goods and services,” while 18 percent did not.

People wanted more art, youth and preschool programs.

And the respondents were in agreement that they were able to get the information they needed, although 20 percent said they were not able to get that information.

The survey also showed that people preferred getting information from the city by telephone and email, and did not like getting it from social media or from the city’s cable television channel.

Most SeaTac residents get around alone in their cars (75 percent) and would expect to continue to but at a lower percentage (47 percent).

And, most residents taking the survey would like to better connections to existing transit and many would like more transit routes in neighborhoods.


2 Responses to “Survey shows some SeaTac residents feel unsafe, but it’s a good place to live”
  1. Melissa says:

    How can they announce or give results to any part of this survey? 299 people took it…we have 23,000 citizens. What a joke!

  2. TbC says:

    Looks like most of inhabited Sea-Tac is in the red.