The Top Five Things Bismarck Residents Say The City Needs to Improve
On Tuesday, Bismarck released results of their livability survey and showed results of the things people like the most about Bismarck, what needs improvement and many other things.
We're going to focus on the items that residents claimed need improvement. You can see the things that residents praised about Bismarck here.
It should be noted that the answers provide a fairly small sample size. The most current estimate from the US Census Bureau puts the Bismarck population at 71,167 people. There were 1,238 people who responded to the survey.
Just under 10 percent of respondents said Bismarck needs more public transportation options, something the city is admittedly lacking.
Here are some actual comments about public transportation from the survey:
- "Public transportation almost nonexistent."
- "The public transportation network needs major improvements to efficiently connect between nodes of activity (downtown, corporate campuses, retail centers, schools, etc.) and to pockets of housing in neighborhoods."
- "I believe Bismarck has great potential for public transportation options. What we have now we do not utilize them very well. Bus systems should not take longer to ride than to walk."
- "Public transportation is not reliable enough to use for a work commute."
- "Public transportation is poor, the bus system isn't great and the taxis are over-priced (I firmly believe this plays a part in the drinking and driving culture)."
Many people said that Bismarck needs better economic opportunity and jobs. Here are some comments from the survey regarding income:
- "We need diversity in age race income and our leaders are not addressing this."
- "High-income jobs are tough to come by unless you're a physician or an attorney for the most part. Far too many of the open job opportunity are low-wage service industry jobs."
- "The majority of the high quality/high paying with good health care plans are state or federal positions that are not stable. There are limited jobs outside of these positions. As an educator, I also feel there are few opportunities for recent graduates. Most jobs are low paying or don't offer the benefits needed to support a graduate out of college."
- "There are many jobs available if you work in the service industry for peanuts. What about middle class jobs?"
- "We need better paying jobs for less levels of skills."
Roughly the same amount of people who said Bismarck needs better paying jobs also said the city needs better restaurant options.
Below are comments people made in the survey regarding restaurants:
- "Coming from Seattle we miss the different cultural restaurants"
- "We need more restaurants in NE Bismarck!"
- "Competitive restaurants are beginning to cause a rise in variety and quality of available food, but still has improvement to reach the quality of Fargo dining"
- "Hey how about restaurants downtown that actually cater to families and not just the 21+ crowd?"
- "Shopping/restaurants are lacking compared to similar sized cities in other states."
One of the things residents felt Bismarck was really lacking was in the arts and entertainment department. Bismarck certainly works to bring in events at the Event Center and then there are also options with Dakota Stage and the like.
Here's what some residents had to say:
- "More entertainment options for the 40-50 year olds. More concerts."
- "Would be nice to have more entertainment such as concerts and events."
- "Bismarck lacks a lot of entertainment options. The music scene majorly lacks variety and venues. This is the one thing that actually makes me sad to live in Bismarck. "
- "If you don't drink alcohol, there isn't much for night time entertainment."
- "Bismarck needs to push for more events and community-centered activities, and continue to support arts and entertainment as a priority"
The number one thing residents felt Bismarck needed was more affordable housing options. Though it was very close with entertainment. There was literally only a difference of two votes.
Here's some comments people had about Bismarck's housing:
- "Work on additional housing in the downtown area for 18-35 market to live in."
- "Housing continuously goes up due to people making absurd amounts of money. It only makes it that much harder to get ahead."
- "Housing prices in Bismarck are outrageous. We built our home in 2007 and although our property value has increased purchase or upgrading to a bigger home or different location is impossible."
- "During growth a lot of high-end housing was built for oil workers working out of Bismarck, but that really doesn't help the people that came in to fill the low-income jobs that were also created as part of the boom"
- "Curtailing residential development because of 'Urban Sprawl' limits housing options, thus inflating housing costs."