Waltham Visions Survey Results

Challenges/Opportunities
  Business
  Upgrade the downtown - everything flows from there
  More Coffee shops, e.g., Main St. Panera
  Need more local, small businesses like cafés and bakeries
  Entrepreneurship (small biz)
  Restoration of downtown
  More variety of stores on Moody Street
  Too many banks
  Shopping
  Cleanliness
  Litter - dirty streets
  Diversity
  Newcomers deemed less worthy than "born & bread" Walthamites.
3 Lack of integration of diverse communities in city governement
  City government needs to reflect the diverse population
  Involving more people in city government.
  Lack of integration of "breezers" ideas & immigrants & students
  Integrating the diverse communities
  Greater integration of University students in the community
  Greater participation of younger generation in city's clubs and organizations.
  Meeting the needs of the homeless
  Power base doesn't seem to reach out to all potential voters, e.g., new US citizens
  Education
  No continuing education for adults
  Government
  City feels stagnant - like the 1950's
  No clear line of communication or process to request something of mayor, city council
  Maintaining quality city services
  Development
  Could use a wider pool of candidates for city offices
  Commitments that don't go beyond the self-interest in city goernment
  Underused or decrepit facillities
  Need a planning director
  Housing
  Need housing to be more affordable (especially rental)
  Rental costs are very high
  Separation of housing from business downtown - need greater density of affordable housing downtown
  Information
  Wants city map showing all different public places,
  To get all city business on the web, e.g., developers' plans presented to various government agencies
  A better Community Newspaper
  Neighborhoods
  Neighborhoods that need TLC
  Lack of support for neighborhood groups
  Public Relations
  Promotion of the city to residents and out-of-towners
  Recreation
  No recreation for adults over 30
  Activities for Middle School and High School age to do Roller skating, bowling, pool hall/game room
  Need more meeting places for teenagers
  Better use of the river - swim, sail, row, canoe rental
  Need more public meeting places
  Wants places to dance
  Want downtown Arts projects
  Lack of entertainment other than downtown theater
  Common could use a skating rink or other community activity opportunity
  Size
  City covers a large area
  Urban anonymity
  Streets
4 Traffic Congestion
4 2 hour street parking
  The sidewalks could be better maintained
  Are we walkable enough?
  Lack of bike friendliness
  Public transit system for the entire city
  Availability to Main St. and Moody St.
  Street lines need painting
  Car oriented rather than pedestrian - lost driving
  Lack of public transportation
  Taxes
  Need to maintain a balanced tax base (residential & Commercial)
  Taxes rising each year - rate up 50% over 11 years
  Vision
  Develop a vision for the neighborhoods and city
  Finding the right balance bet. Development and a real mixed-use Moody St.
  Fear of and resistance to change
  Overcrowding will change the town's character
  Seek more public input and participation for community projects to improve an area
  Too much development with no master plan
  Climate change
Likes
  Atmosphere
6 Activity in the City
6 Neighborliness
6 Many fairs and festivals
6 Great neighborhoods & conservation/woods areas
3 The people and a small town atmosphere
  Complex, interesting community that is small enough for community groups to have an effect.
  Relatively eash to become involved in civic life
  Huge potential to be a place that people want to live in.
  Community spirit of the populace
  Mix of nature and business
  Many cultural sites
  History of the city
  "I like the community"
  Business
2 Restaurant row
2 Bookstores - especially More Than Words and Back Pages
  Incredible restaurants
  Unique eating establishments
  Moody Street
  Cleanliness
  A clean city - trash is picked up
  Diversity
12 Ethnic Diversity of the population
  Education
  Schools can do a very good job
2 Schools & Universities
  Geography
3 The geographic location - close to other towns and easy highway access
2 Easy public transportation to Boston
  The city's size is manageable
  Government
  Well run city - City hall responds to the citizenry
  Good city services
  Financially sound city
  Housing
  Housing more affordable than surrounding towns
  Neighborhoods
  Safe neighborhoods
  Recreation
2 Charles River access / proposed bikeway
  Theaters: Hovey, Reagle & Embassy
  Riverwalk
  Arts organizations with great offerings
  Resources
5 Wonderful library
  Farmer's market
  Farms
  Safety
  Good work of the police in the schools preventing gangs
  Social Services
  Social Services organizations like the Day Center, Chaplains on the Way, Soup Kitchens
  Plethora of social services
  Taxes
3 Balanced tax base
  The mixed tax base
  Reasonable property tax rate