Now Available: Our 2023 Neighborhood Perception Survey Results

Thursday May 23, 2024

Thank you to the record 1,240 of you who shared your feedback this past January in our Neighborhood Perception Survey covering the 2023 calendar year. With participation 17% higher than last year, this survey is our organization’s most valuable tool for measuring the point-in-time sentiments of those who engage with our Mount Vernon Triangle community. Like prior years, we are committed to transparently sharing highlights of what you’ve told us, because only together can we continue in our efforts to maintain and continually improve Mount Vernon Triangle – our vibrant and thriving new type of downtown neighborhood – as the clean, safe, and welcoming community of possibility that we want and know that it can be.

Overall, we are pleased that perceptions of some of our organization’s most important programmatic priorities have stabilized and continue to head in the right direction after some drop-off from record-setting levels in prior years. Here is a synopsis of what you told us:

Programmatic Priorities

Here’s how respondents ranked the programmatic priorities most important to them:

  1. Public Safety, appearing in 80.1% of all responses
  2. Cleanliness & Landscaping, appearing in 72.0% of all responses
  3. Business & Retail Attraction, appearing in 62.8% of all responses
  4. Parks & Open Space Activation, appearing in 49.4% of all responses
  5. Homeless Outreach, appearing in 46.6% of all responses
  6. Transportation & Mobility, appearing in 42.0 % of all responses
  7. Art, Cultural Activation & “Placemaking,” appearing in 28.5% of all responses
  8. Marketing & Events, appearing in 17.8% of all responses

And here’s how respondents ranked the programmatic areas most in need of prioritization:

  1. Public Safety, appearing in 44.0% of all responses
  2. Homeless Outreach, appearing in 18.3% of all responses
  3. Business & Retail Attraction, appearing in 14.3% of all responses
  4. Parks & Open Space Activation, appearing in 10.3% of all responses
  5. Transportation & Mobility, appearing in 4.5% of all responses
  6. Art, Cultural Activation & “Placemaking,” appearing in 3.9% of all responses
  7. Cleanliness & Landscaping, appearing in 3.0% of all responses
  8. Marketing & Events, appearing in 1.7% of all responses

Public safety continues to rank as both a top programmatic priority and programmatic area in need of prioritization. But also notable is that homeless outreach – which ranked fifth highest in programmatic priority – ranked second highest in prioritization; and that cleanliness and landscaping – which ranked second highest in programmatic priority – ranked seventh highest in prioritization. Additional details related to perceptions of cleanliness and safety – which all BIDs as “clean and safe” organizations hold as mandates – are shared further below.

We reiterate to our stakeholders about our investment in The h3 Project’s work led by Dr. Ami Angell to provide meaningful outreach and supportive services to individuals experiencing homelessness in Mount Vernon Triangle, with services provided six days per week. For more information about The h3 Project and its work to support neighbors experiencing homelessness in Mount Vernon Triangle, download the Homelessness “Who to Call” Fact Sheet also located on

Perceptions of Cleanliness & Clean Team Visibility

Nearly four out of five respondents – or 78.2% – perceive Mount Vernon Triangle as being “clean” or “very clean,” a result equivalent to perceptions from calendar year 2022. This result is unsurprising given two out of every three respondents – or 66% – report having “high” or “very high” perceptions of Clean Team Ambassador visibility. Our hardworking Clean Team Ambassadors enhance our public spaces through services such as daily street cleaning, snow/ice removal, landscaping and leaf pick-up, and graffiti mitigation at a 97 percent annual uptime rate, with services not provided just 12 days out of the year. Perceptions of cleanliness correspond with perceptions of safety – discussed further below – which is why our Clean Team program will continue to be our organization’s single-biggest programmatic investment.

Perceptions of Safety

When it comes to overall safety, for the second consecutive year slightly more than half of survey respondents – ticking up marginally to 52.6% – indicated having perceptions of Mount Vernon Triangle as a “safe” or “very safe” community, with “safe” – at 43.2% – being the majority response. Given investments we continue to make in MPD’s Reimbursable Detail Officer (RDO) Program, our quarterly stakeholder safety meetings in support of building a sustainable “culture of safety,” and demonstrable results by our MPD First District partners in driving down crime in and around Police Service Area 101 covering the Mount Vernon Triangle and Chinatown neighborhoods, we have every expectation that perceptions of safety will continue to improve in the weeks and months ahead.

Perceptions of Civic Engagement & Community Pride (including FRESHFARM MVT Market)

After returning above 50% in 2022, it was disappointing to see perceptions of civic engagement and community pride in Mount Vernon Triangle – which we view this metric as perhaps the single most important indicator of our community’s civic and social health – slide to 45% in 2023. While we believe there are several contributing factors for this decrease, including the then-uncertainty surrounding the future of Capital One Arena (more on this below), we were heartened to see that nearly 60% of respondents reported shopping at our FRESHFARM MVT Market at least once per month, and that nearly two-thirds of respondents – at 64.8% – reporting offerings at our market are more than enough or just about right. We remain pleased by the growth of our market and its cemented status as a trusted weekly destination for our community to come together.

Perceptions of Green Space Availability

We continue to address perceptions regarding the quality, availability, and supply of green, open, and public-use spaces in Mount Vernon Triangle through the work underway to redevelop Cobb Park, which is currently undergoing site prep work in advance of construction later this summer. Just one out of three respondents – or 33.2% – stated that they believe there to be sufficient access to this amenity and resource.

Word Association

Positive indicators continue to top the list of words most used to describe Mount Vernon Triangle, with descriptors such as convenient (9.4%), vibrant (5.3%), central (5.1%), nice (4.2%), community (2.6%), home (2.3%), and fun (2.0%) ranking in the top 30% of words cited most often by survey respondents.

Your Comments

Finally, we want to take a moment to acknowledge and thank the 592 of you who shared your thoughts and comments at the conclusion of our survey. Heightened anxiety regarding the future of Capital One Arena – news of which was still fresh and very uncertain at the time of our survey – and the Chinatown neighborhood in general was a top-of-mind concern for a vast majority of you. With March’s announcement that the District of Columbia and Monumental Sports & Entertainment reached an agreement to transform Capital One Arena and expand Monumental’s footprint downtown, thus paving the way for the Washington Wizards and Washington Capitals – DC’s professional basketball and hockey teams – to remain in the District through 2050, we’ll continue to benefit from the economic benefits that this magnet and activity center will bring to downtown including our Mount Vernon Triangle neighborhood. Your comments regarding this and other related themes including the need for better public safety were relayed to DC policy officials in real time and were said to be both helpful and instructive toward their understanding of the primary and secondary impacts should Monumental relocate from Chinatown. In addition to “need” at 15.0%, “crime” at 6.3%, “Chinatown” at 4.2%, “safety” at 4.6%, “leaving” at 4.2%, and “concerned” at 3.4%, other words of note appearing often in your comments included “park” at 9.3% and “Safeway” at 4.7%―all key indicators of issues that stakeholders are concerned about most. With the opening of the District’s First Safe Commercial Corridor Hub in Chinatown in February and release of the Gallery Place/Chinatown Task Force results earlier this month, conditions in Chinatown are improving and will only get better. That said, you also shared many positive sentiments including the words “love” and “great” at 9.1%, respectively, as well as “community” at 9.0%.

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Thanks again for participating and taking the time to share your valuable perspectives. Should you have any additional feedback or concerns you’d like to provide, never hesitate to write us at