SUMMARY of FINDINGS
After 6 months of surveying 377 people in Rainier Beach, there are some clear conclusions regarding people use of the neighborhood, their recent experience of the neighborhood and suggestions on how to improve the neighborhood.
Importance of local resources and amenities: stores, library, community center, restaurants and parks are highly used places as well as amenities are regarded as highly valuable as a symbol and means to improve the community.
Rainier Beach Community Center (RBCC) as a central hub: The most mentioned community resource was the RCC. It is seen as a positive place for youth and families. It is seen as a safe, clean and reliable place where community groups can get people involved. It is also highly respected. In addition to sports and the pool, the teen late night program was mentioned multiple times as a positive neighborhood activity.
Safety and reputation improving: Overall, feelings of safety are increasing and the reputation of the neighborhood is improving. While some people mentioned gentrification and displacement, most people recognized the hard work of community groups – especially RBAC and ABSPY members like BeSafe – , schools and RBCC in bringing people together and having more community activities. It was clear that people saw community gatherings, involvement and activities as a key mechanism to increase safety and community efficacy.
Built environment a continued concern: One consistent area for improvement is the built environment. Public places such as cleanliness and maintenance on sidewalks and bus stops and street lighting as well as private businesses like Safeway parking lot and alley. There is also consistent mention of litter where public and private spaces meet such as business parking lots, yards and facades. While many people acknowledged that there were improvements to the built environment over the years, there is still a long way to go.
Continue strengthening linkages and collaboration with RBCC. Whether it is holding an event at the community center, of having the community center sponsor an event. Increasing affiliation with RBCC and Parks and Recreation will increase awareness, positive association and reputation of RBAC and ABSPY work around safety, youth leadership and family.
Build linkages with other amenities with strong neighborhood reputation like the library, schools and local-owned and operated businesses.
Acknowledge work and progress with Parks and Recreation, libraries and Seattle Schools – all of which people are recognizing their efforts to improve and invest in the neighborhood.
Continue work on abating litter through RBAC clean up crew, clean-up days and relationships with Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT), Rainier Beach Merchant Association (RBMA), specific businesses and Metro on key areas.
Strengthen collaboration and communication with SDOT to improve lighting and sidewalks.
- I Work Here 15% 15%
- I go to school here 11% 11%
- I own a business/Property 4% 4%
- I shop here 13% 13%
- I use public transit here 14% 14%
- I use local resources here 22% 22%
- I walk or drive through here 14% 14%
- Other 6% 6%
Overall, there were were very high percentages of agreement with all 5 safety questions. Safety score = 3 (agree). A safety score is calculated when all 5 safety questions were summed to an average with 1 being highly disagree and 4 being highly agree. Questions on the effect of the built environment on safety (cleanliness and lighting) had the lowest agreement rate. Qualitative responses were also reviewed, coded and summarized after each safety question.
Identified positive activities for youth (203 responses)