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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Monday, November 19, 2012

Muhlenberg Survey: 8 Out of 10 Residents Like Living in Bethlehem

The South Side, as seen from Payrow Plaza
Bethlehem residents love its downtown and parks, but they'd like to see improvements in street repairs and snow plowing. That's according to a citizen satisfaction survey of 1573 residents completed earlier this year by Muhlenberg College's Institute of Public Opinion.

Quality of Life

Over 8 out of 10 residents rate the quality of life in Bethlehem positively, with 32% calling the Christmas City an "excellent" place to live. 3 out of 4 rate their own neighborhoods as either "excellent" or "good." Those living on the South Side are more likely to have negative appraisals of their own neighborhoods (46%), although 47% of South Siders do think the City is better today than it was ten years ago. 76% of the City's residents would recommend Bethlehem as a place to live.

Mayor John Callahan said that, although the City may rate highly in different magazines as a place to live or visit, it's the opinion of its residents that matter most to him.

Infrastructure Maintenance

Despite this generally positive view of the quality of life, residents are dissatisfied with city services like street repair, snow plowing and street cleaning. Two out of three residents rate street repairs as only "fair" or "poor." Only 33% are positive about snow-plowing efforts. Although snow-plowing gets a failing grade throughout the City, South Siders have slightly more negative views.


On the South Side, 7 out of 10 residents give poor grades to parking. Downtown, West Bethlehem and Northeast Bethlehem have a slightly better experience, but overall, only 4 out of 10 Bethlehem residents rate parking as either "excellent" or "good."

Public Safety

Over 6 out of 10 residents feel safe, with nearly 3 out of 4 residents giving police services a positive rating, even on the City's South Side. But after snow plowing and street repairs, city residents would like to see more resources directed to crime prevention.

Recreation, Arts and Culture

Residents gave consistently high ratings to the City's recreational resources as well as its arts and cultural programs. Women, college-educated and white residents give higher ratings to the City's arts and culture programs than men, minority residents and those without college degrees.

Water and Sewer

Over 8 out of 10 Bethlehem residents rated drinking water quality in Bethlehem positively, with 40% calling it excellent. Similarly, 3 out of 4 residents have favorable views of the City's sewer system.

Garbage Collection

Although 58% of the City's residents have positive views of garbage collection, 30% rated garbage collection negatively. A majority of residents - 56% - believe the current trash collection system can be improved, and would support switching to a single hauler if it meant improved services and reduced cost. About 3 out of 10 residents would still oppose a switch.


Anonymous said...

Dudse, you have a bad case of Callahan fever.

Anonymous said...

What about Muhlenberg's survey of Allentown residents?

Anonymous said...

@ 5:57-they expressed satisfaction with living in Bethlehem as well.

Ken Kraft said...

I know I like living here along with my family for the past 5 generations. I tried to move to Easton once when I worked at Equitable Life up on College hill but I moved back within 6 months.

Mark Baker said...

The survey is an honest appraisal of many aspects of the city. It will be a useful tool today and in the future.

Bernie O'Hare said...


You have a bad case of Callahan hatred, which will continue bothering you thru the Reibman-Callahan primary.

I have three Bethlehem posts today in which (1) Beth residents state what they think; (2) Bethlehem is acknowledged as the safest 3rd class 30,000 plus city; and (3) the argument is made that a fat cat like LU should kick into a PILOT.

All are factually accurate, and all are stories that need to be told.
It is nice to know that, for the sake of politics, you would see some little old lady in a fixed income see her tax bill go up while rich kids at Lehigh make false fire calls.

Obama has stated it's time for everyone to pay their far share. That should include Lehigh. We don't mind helping out a church or a struggling school, but Lehigh's sitting on $1.1 billion and just picked up 1600 or so acres in Uper Saucon.

Anonymous said...

10 out of 10 like the flow of grant money from the State.

Anonymous said...

Is Mark Baker the new Jim Hickey?

Anonymous said...

Fucking heaven compared with Allentown .

Anonymous said...

Lehigh Valley Hospital laid off all their people who worked with community groups and small mon-profits. They had really dedicated, creative people, some who had been in the community for years. Gone. See ya later.

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