Neighborhood Perception Survey Results are In!

Friday April 20, 2018

The MVT CID thanks the 722 residents, office workers, retailers and patrons who participated in the Neighborhood Perception Survey covering calendar year 2017. Survey participation, which was 30-percent higher than the previous record-breaking mark of 555 responses set in 2016, provides the MVT CID with valuable insights regarding stakeholder preferences and feedback as we continue our work to make Mount Vernon Triangle the “destination of choice” for anyone looking to live, work, do business or entertain in the District of Columbia.

View a PowerPoint summary of the Neighborhood Perception Survey results covering calendar year 2017.

The bottom line: despite some headwinds, most key performance indicators are pointed in the right direction. By an overwhelming majority, respondents continue to rank public safety and cleanliness/landscaping as the MVT CID’s two most important strategic priorities, with park, green and open space activation (rising two spots from 2016) as the third-highest priority. Here’s what you told us about these programmatic initiatives:

  • Four out of five respondents (81 percent; tied for highest recorded) perceived the MVT CID to be either clean or very clean in 2017—up from 78 percent in 2016.
  • Two out of three respondents (64 percent; highest recorded) perceived the MVT CID to be either safe or very safe in 2017—up from 48 percent in 2016.
  • Fewer respondents perceived MVT to be not clean (8 responses) compared to unsafe (7 responses)—representing 1.2 and 1.1 percent of all responses for those questions, respectively. The MVT CID will continue to work to ensure that everyone feels safe and supported in our community through programmatic efforts such as the Safety Council and the daily on-street visibility provided by our team of Clean & Safe Ambassadors.
  • Just one out of four respondents (27%) perceive there to be sufficient quality, availability and supply of green, open and public-use spaces within the MVT CID, and the lack of green space was cited as a top five reason why residents plan to leave Mount Vernon Triangle within the next three years. Work is currently underway to address this feedback through the MVT Open Space Study, the results of which will be released and highlighted in the next issue of Triangle Times.

Here’s more of what you told us:

Farmers Market – 81 percent of respondents indicated they were aware of the FRESHFARM MVT Farmers Market, up from 65 percent in 2016, with 37 percent of those aware of the farmers market attending two to three times a month or more, up from 17 percent in 2015 and 25 percent in 2016. Overall most survey participants responded favorably to the relocated and expanded market, but as in years past still requested greater product variety and more vendors. We’ll continue to find ways to prudently address our customer feedback about this very popular program and will address immediately the consistent feedback regarding the market start time, to begin at 9am this year versus 10am in previous years.

Commuting Preferences – While 57 percent of respondents own at least one car, only 16 percent indicate that driving is their preferred mode of transportation to and from work, with 40 percent choosing to regularly walk to work and 27 percent utilizing some form of public transportation.

Community Events – Respondents rank farmers markets, seasonal festivals, arts and cultural events, outdoor concerts and music, and movie showings as the most favored community events for the MVT CID.

Tunes in the Triangle – Both awareness of, and attendance at, the “Tunes in the Triangle” summer concert series continue to show average results. Slightly fewer survey respondents (49 percent) were aware of the concert series as those who were unaware, with only one out of every three respondents who were aware of the concert series (33 percent) actually attending a concert. Respondents were also very vocal with their feedback about the location of last year’s concert series at the 5th & K Streets NW plaza.

The MVT CID believes strongly that live music adds significantly to the texture and vibrancy of a community, but this should not come at the detriment of our neighbors’ right to quietly enjoy of their evenings. In response to that feedback the 2018 concert series will once again return to Milian Park with a renewed focus on increasing awareness of the concerts.

Impactful Events – When asked to identify the most impactful news story or event related to Mount Vernon Triangle that occurred in calendar year 2017, words that appeared most often included:

  • farmers market;
  • construction;street/tunnel/mass/crossing (in reference to traffic-related activity such as the 4-1/2 & K Streets NW mid-block crossing, the closing of I Street NW for the farmers market, and the opening of the I-395 tunnel);
  • Apple (in reference to the Carnegie Library redevelopment in support of a flagship Apple store);
  • park (in reference to the activation of the “bowtie” parks at 5th & Mass or the negative perceptions associated with the parks’ previous undesirable);
  • Cloakroom/strip club;
  • new restaurants; and
  • DC Bar (in reference to the recent completion of the DC Bar Association’s new headquarter at 901 4th Street NW).

Notably, appearing five times was the word idea, as in “I have no idea,” “no idea,” “I have no earthly idea” or some form thereof.

Top Words – When asked to provide one word to describe the Mount Vernon Triangle neighborhood of today as currently perceived, and another to describe the Mount Vernon Triangle neighborhood of tomorrow upon achievement of its full potential, below are the top 11 words used by respondents for both categories.

  • Today: Convenient; Growing; Vibrant; Improving; Central/Developing (Tie – 5th); Construction, Clean/Nice (Tie – 8th), Modern/Young (Tie – 10th)
  • Tomorrow: Vibrant; Community/Destination (Tie – 2nd); Exciting/Thriving (Tie – 4th); Fun/Safe/Green (Tie – 6th); Friendly/Inclusive/Trendy (Tie – 9th)

In addition to providing interesting insights into the varying perceptions of respondents (note the word “vibrant” appears in both categories), comparing the gap between how Mount Vernon Triangle is perceived today versus future aspirations helps the MVT CID analyze and implement areas for potential improvement.

Civic Engagement & Community Pride – With just 35 percent of respondents indicating a strong or very strong sense of civic engagement and community pride within Mount Vernon Triangle, down four percent from last year, we will commit ourselves as an organization to find ways to enhance our performance against this metric, which we consider a leading indicator regarding the social health of our community. One of the ways that we’ll seek to do this is through more programming to help bring people together where they work, where they live, and in our public spaces. If you have any ideas for programs to help enhance the civic engagement and community pride associated with life in Mount Vernon Triangle, tell us at