(New York. N.Y.) – The Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership Business Improvement District’s (BID) 10th annual Community Survey finds robust support for the neighborhood’s Public Plazas, and a majority of respondents favoring the BID’s safety and sanitation services.
Released today, the survey notes that 90.8% of respondents like the Public Plazas at 23rd Street, Broadway, and Fifth Avenue; that result echoes survey findings in 2015 and is up by nearly 5 percentage points from 2014.
“Over the last nine years, the Flatiron Plazas have transformed the heart of the district,” said Jennifer Brown, Executive Director of the BID. “They have enhanced local economic vitality, pedestrian mobility, access to public transit, and safety for all street users, and become attractive destinations not only for visitors but for those who live and work in the neighborhood.”
The Public Plazas were established in 2008, courtesy of the New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Flatiron Partnership. The BID is working with the DOT, New York City Department of Parks & Recreation, and Madison Square Park Conservancy on the permanent design for the Public Plazas and Worth Square. When asked how the permanent design can improve their experience in the Public Plazas, survey respondents indicated that enhancing pedestrian safety and adding more seating options were their top priorities.
The annual survey has been conducted since the BID was founded a decade ago, and solicits input to assess the performance of the BID and quality-of-life issues. The new survey was conducted between September and November 2016, and generated 450 responses, with nearly 75% of respondents living or working in the district.
Overall, 88.3% of respondents “strongly approve” or “approve” of the job done by the BID. Respondents ranked the importance of the BID’s programmatic areas, with Clean Streets (92.2%), Public Safety (85.6%), and Social Services, the BID’s Homeless Outreach program (78.7%), receiving the highest ratings.
The BID continues to receive high marks for its streetscape and beautification enhancements, with 97.9% of respondents approving of street trees, 94.7% approving of median mall beautification efforts, 92.4% liking tree pit guards and plantings, 92% favoring lamppost flower baskets, 92.7% liking CityBenches, and 83.8% approving of BigBelly Trash and Compacting receptacles. Only bike racks – at 57.5% – drew a favorable response under 80%.
Similarly, 61% of respondents want to see more street trees, 40.7% want more CityBenches, and 39.7% favor more lamppost flower baskets.
Of respondents aware of the BID’s Clean Street Program, 87.9% of respondents rate the impact on the district as “good” or “excellent”; similarly, 74.1% of respondents rank the Public Safety Program “good” or “excellent.”
Additionally, 81% of respondents rate the impact of the BID strengthening the district’s identity as “excellent” or “good.”
Respondents would most like to see the BID produce more arts and cultural activities; health, wellness and fitness activities; and, networking and community receptions.
Asked about their favorite parts of Flatiron, survey respondents note: restaurants and dining; Madison Square Park; shopping; central location; and, building and architecture. And, asked about the most important issues facing the district, they note: homelessness; overcrowding and noise; and, traffic.
About the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership
The Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership Business Improvement District, formed in 2006, is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to enhance the area’s reputation as one of New York’s most vital and exciting neighborhoods. This is accomplished by maintaining a clean and safe environment for the district’s businesses, residents and visitors; by spearheading area improvement projects; and by marketing the diverse business and retail options in this vibrant and historic neighborhood.