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RA Survey Asks a Wide Variety of Questions

Community survey for selected Reston Association members looks beyond RA services at overall picture of life in Reston.

About 3,000 Reston Association households randomly selected for RA's comprehensive community survey should have received their mailings by now.

RA is conducting the survey to "help the association and its Board of Directors better set benchmarks for tracking the quality of services provided to residents," the survey materials say.

The cost of the survey was part of the Reston Association's 2012-2013 biennial budget.  Reston Association budgeted $26,000 to cover survey costs. The association hopes to conduct a survey every three to five years to keep up with Reston's rapid growth and change, said RA CEO Milton Matthews.

The six-page survey asks a variety of questions related to overall life in Reston. Some of the areas residents are asked to rate are well outside of RA's scope of responsibiilty, however.

For example, the survey asks how residents feel about the quality of utility companies, bus service, traffic signal timing and snow removal. It also asks how often you communicate with your neighbors, your commuting methods,and how often you are involved with civic activities such as visiting the library, recycling or participating in religious activities.

Also asked: "How safe or unsafe do you feel from violent crime or property crime in Reston?" "What impact, if any, do you think the economy will have on you family income in the next six months?" and "Please indicate how much of each type of development (housing; small shops and businesses; large stores and office buildings; and manufacturing and warehouses) you would like to see in Reston in the next 20 years, as population grows.

The bulk of the survey does concentrate on RA services, though. Among the questions:

* Please rate the following categories of Reston Association performance (value of servies for the assessment paid; overall direction that Reston is taking; the job Reston Association does at welcoming involvement).

* How important, if at all are each of the following ideas towards making Reston a great place to live for you and future generations? (some of the selections - preserving open land; making the community more walkable; Enhancing public spaces, parks and trails; keeping a mix of all housing types).

* In the last 12 months, how many times have you or a household member participated in the following activities in Reston? (Some of the selections: visited a Reston park; Read RA news (email); Read RA magazine; Watched videos on RA's YouTube Channel; Used social media; attended an RA sponsored event).

* Please rate each of the following aspects of quality of life in Reston (some of the selections: Reston as a place to live; Reston as a place to raise children; Reston as a place to work; Reston as a place to retire; Reston as a place to get involved).

A complete copy of the survey is in the PDF attached to this story.

Have any opinions on some of these questions? Tell us in the comments. While it won't be counted as official survey answers, Patch is sure RA staff would still like the feedback.

Jack January 24, 2013 at 04:22 PM
Who should we be calling to post questions online ?
Mike Collins January 24, 2013 at 06:45 PM
Hi Jack - The County and VDOT handle streetlights, but I will get back to you here with more detail on the process and contacts. I will send the questionnaire to Patch so it can at least be posted here (email me at mike4ra@gmail.com if you'd like a copy) and I'll ask my RA colleagues about giving people an option to respond online even if the results are not as scientifically valid as the mailed version.
Karen Goff January 24, 2013 at 07:05 PM
Interested in seeing the survey in its entirety? It is now posted in a PDF with this article.
Jack January 25, 2013 at 06:16 PM
Thanks Karen and Mike for your expeditious action !
Mike Collins January 25, 2013 at 06:42 PM
Jack - I understand that lighting has been an issue for years with various advocacy groups, task forces, community meetings, action plans, demonstration projects, etc.. Short version: Some people like the dark; some don't. I asked Supervisor Hudgins office for the latest thinking at the county level and her staff provided the following info: "Installation of street lighting is primarily dependent on funding availability. FFX County has been relying on redevelopment for new street lights. There is a small amount of funding available for street light funding in the Hunter Mill District and our office is in the process of setting up a street light task force to discuss future street lighting endeavors in Reston." "As Reston moves towards a 24/7 community, we will have to balance safety concerns with light pollution concerns. This will be addressed through our task force. FFX County has a site detailing some street light information at http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/dpwes/construction/streetlights/light_main.htm" For further info and to make a specific recommendation, I would suggest contacting Paul Davis Legislative Aide Supervisor Catherine M. Hudgins Hunter Mill District Office Phone: 703-478-0283 Email: Paul.Davis@fairfaxcounty.gov Mike

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