Summary of Community Engagement Survey 002
Our second survey of the community looked at the usage of various town features. As was the case with the prior Community Engagement Survey, and is expected to hold true for all of them, the number of respondents did not reach a level at which they should be considered to be a statistically valid representation of Barrington residents as a whole. The responses are suitable for the purposes of conversation and learning where further exploration should be directed; which is the reason I’ve created and posted them.
About the People Who Responded
All responses were submitted by Barrington residents. They were distributed throughout Barrington, with 45% living in the Sowams district, 33% living in the Nayatt area, and 22% in Primrose. None of the respondents have lived in Barrington for more than 35 years, 25% have lived here for 16-35 years, 50% have lived here 6-15 years, and 25% have lived here five or fewer years. Less than 30% of respondents attended Barrington’s 2018 Financial Town Meeting, and most (67%) regularly do not attend it.
Features Used Around Town
A few features were clear standout features: the Library, Town Beach, Bike Path and Local Merchants all were identified by approximately 90% of people as a feature they use and/or appreciate. Open Meetings were the least used/appreciated feature. It’s state law, though, so regardless of appreciation, they’re here to stay… And that’s a good thing for all of us!
Public parks and fields, playgrounds, and the summer concert series were all selected by around half of the respondents. There was only one person who selected a single item (bike path), with all other respondents selecting four or more features.
There was only one person who selected “other,” and they listed “tennis.”
A Couple Key Takeaways
The primary thing I learned from this survey was that, at least for the sub-group of Barrington residents who respond to my surveys, most folks actively use various parts of our town. This is good news, because it means that the town isn’t spending money and using up space on things that aren’t engaging for our community. It also means that we can feel confident that if we add features or enhance what we already have, it will be appreciated and well used.
I was surprised by the number of respondents who use the beach. My family is there on occasion, and I rarely see it crowded. This leads me to think that many people use it infrequently, but still care about it. This was also expressed in the comments, on which I’ll elaborate below.
Improvements and Additional Features
Safety for pedestrians and cyclists was the most common issue people wanted to see addressed, with regard to the features of our town. In filling out my own submission of the survey, I was among the more than half of respondents who listed it in the open-ended question. I wrote a brief Candidate Statement that appeared in the Barrington Times regarding this issue, last week. Here is a link to a version of it on my blog. We can certainly find ways to address this concern, and I believe we can do it in a way that enhances more than the safety of our town, but the local economy and the quality of life, too.
Nearly 20% of people want to see improvements to our waterfront. This includes additional moorings at the town beach and other locations, more launch locations and kayak racks, expanded parking, and beach concessions.
Our Next Survey
In our newest survey, number 003, we’re seeking for feedback related to local businesses. Please click here to take that survey.