How Do You Rate Life in Sarasota
For 27 years Sarasota County has conducted a survey of how residents feel about the quality of life in Sarasota and what their concerns are. During the real estate debacle of 2007-2013, jobs/economy were the number one issues concerning residents. For the past five years, residents have said growth issues /traffic are their top concerns. You can hardly go a day without someone commenting about gridlock and the horrendous increase in traffic in our area.
In our opinion, there is some bias in how the survey is structured which we think takes away from the impact of how people really feel. For instance the question, ‘how do you feel about life in Sarasota? Well damn, I just moved here 2 years ago and its warmer and sunnier than Chicago, how do you think I feel about life in Sarasota. Of course, the answer is going to be skewed. They have no concept of the quality of life before the large population boom in our area.
You know we are in trouble when 19% of the respondents said there are no problems in Sarasota County or when 80% of eligible voters don’t vote. The survey interviewed just under 900 people which seems like a small sampling considering we have over 420,000 residents. The figures that scared us was an article that said 40% of area residents are a paycheck away from being homeless. Or the fact that over 50% of Sarasota students receive free lunches due to income levels of their families.
Sarasota County has grown by 20,000 residents in the past year alone. Increasing allowable housing density has helped to exacerbate the problem. And, there is hardly anything you can do about gridlock at this point because we just don’t have the capacity to make more roadways where they are needed. Feeble attempts to take away roads and replace them with bicycle lanes isn’t the answer that the City of Sarasota has proposed. Who is going to ride their bike in mid-summer 90 degree heat or gridlocked tourist season to the doctor or grocery store? We don’t even use the buses we have available they are mostly empty. People love the convenience of their cars, they are not going to give them up.
View the full 2018 survey for yourself. https://www.scgov.net/Home/ShowDocument?id=37388