A city survey found 75 percent of residents
have a positive image of their city.
HAYWARD CITY COUNCIL
Hayward residents consistently voiced concern over the overall lack of affordable housing and job creation in the city, according to a city survey released last week. Those polled also continue to pull their collective hair out over traffic congestion in Hayward, likely a holdover from the unpopular downtown traffic grid known as “The Loop.”
Many of the 630 Hayward resident who participated in the survey conducted just prior to Thanksgiving, blamed the city for failing to create more affordable housing with more than 46 percent giving a negative answer. The issue, however, is not unique to Hayward city government. Nearly every city in the East Bay faces similar affordable housing deficits.
But concerns over new businesses coming to Hayward and job creation persist, according to the survey. Residents were split about the city’s success in attracting new businesses and uncertain about the availability of local jobs. Conversely, the downtrodden image of Hayward’s downtown areas was not reflected in the survey. Nearly 70 percent gave a positive response to the revitalization of the downtown.
But when it comes to traffic, Hayward residents are clearly upset. More than 32 percent said they were “very dissatisfied” with traffic circulation, while 23.8 percent were “somewhat dissatisfied.” Only 9.8 percent were “very satisfied,” according to the survey. The Hayward Loop that encircles the downtown area, and is known for cars traveling at high speeds, is just three years old, but complaints are still common. But the city historically suffers from traffic snarls due to many vehicles using it as a short cut between the Silicon Valley and Tri Valley.
Nevertheless, Hayward maintains a positive image among its residents. More than 75 percent of respondents said they were very or somewhat positive, according to the survey. Yet, over the past year, a sharp rise in homicides in Hayward has rattled many in the city. On Monday, a 16-year-old boy was killed in unincorporated Hayward.
Unsurprisingly, a majority of those surveyed ranked violent crime among the most likely responses. Twenty-one percent said crime, drugs, graffiti and petty theft were its most pressing public safety problems. The rise of homelessness ranked second at 13 percent, followed by gang activity at 10.5 percent and the lack of a police presence at 8.4 percent. The latter scored the worst in terms of satisfaction with police services.
Weaved into the survey was also polling that gauged the popularity of what a city staff report called a “hypothetical” 30-year, $95 million bond measure for the construction of a new police department. Nearly 59 percent of those polled answered affirmatively.