Most of the quantitative responses fall into predictable bell curves, with majorities saying things in Madison are "Good," handfuls marking "Fair" or "Excellent," and a small but dedicated core marking "Poor." I crunch the numbers (granting 2 points for Excellent, 1 for Good, -1 for Fair, -2 for Poor) and find some noteworthy exceptions to that distribution:
- The highest ranked aspect of our city is our fire department, followed by the citywide cleanup.
- The Community Center (located, ironically, at the edge of town) also gets more Excellents than Goods. But 1 in 5 respondents said "Don't Know," the third-highest DK, behind the airport and the city website.
- Scoring the strongest negatives: sidewalk maintenance, street repair, "the job Madison government does at listening to citizens," land use and planning, animal control, and "Madison as a place to work."
The survey includes numerous open comments. One 90-year-old says "No complaints... am thankful for a place to live." We're not all such grateful minimalists:
- The need for a grocery store and more retail figures in more than one comment. One citizen notes Madison once had five grocery stores.
- One commenter annotates the survey thus:
- Madison as a place to work: "where?"
- Street repair: "where? Piss poor."
- Snow removal: "piss poor."
- The overall direction that city government is taking: "which?"
- The job Madison government does at listening to citizens: "When?"
- A couple people note that North 9th Street needs work... and they're right!
- A couple more note the need to revitalize Main Street.
- One commenter grumbles about our "young" cops giving folks tickets for turning into the outside lane. Those tickets must be a huge revenue generator in Madison, since (a) 9 out of 10 drivers I see in Madison do it, and (b) Madison's newly-narrowed highway lanes make a proper tight lane entry impossible on anything larger than my bike.