In western Colorado Springs, Garden of the Gods draws hikers, bicyclists and outdoor enthusiasts from throughout the country.
In western Colorado Springs, Garden of the Gods draws hikers, bicyclists and outdoor enthusiasts from throughout the country.

The Springs Insight Exchange recently completed a survey of more than 550 Pikes Peak region residents that showed the perceived strengths and weaknesses of the community.

The inaugural survey was disseminated through community groups and social media and SIE said that it “actively sought responses from widely diverse populations, soliciting many different voices,” according to an Aug. 14 news release.

“We want the information to be used by the general public to draw their own conclusions,” says Tom Binnings, chair of the Executive Committee. “We simply intended to get raw information to our city leaders, community groups, and citizens at large in order to promote civil community-wide conversations.”

The survey posed four primary questions to respondents:

– What are the three greatest strengths of the Pikes Peak region?

– What are the three greatest challenges facing the Pikes Peak region?

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– What are the five most important issues you believe the community should address in the coming year?

– In the next three years do you anticipate the following changing relative to current levels?

More than 55 percent of respondents said that the Pikes Peak region’s greatest strength is its natural beauty, as well as its access to outdoor recreation opportunities. Other strengths cited by respondents were moderate climate and weather, as well as the region’s military assets.

Nearly 33 percent of those polled said that infrastructure — road maintenance, stormwater needs and transportation — was the greatest challenge facing the Pikes Peak region, while other respondents referenced challenges related to employment and taxes.

In response to the third question, which asked those polled which five issues they felt were the most important for the community to address in the coming year, 71 percent cited road maintenance and repair. Improving the maintenance and repair of stormwater assets was the second most important issue to respondents, while investing in economic development was the third.

The fourth question was “multi-faceted,” SIE said in the report. Respondents were polled on how they feel their personal income and expense levels, as well as the city’s population and revenues, might grow in the next three years.

“When asked to predict the levels of their household’s retail purchases (excluding pharmacy and food), nearly 69 percent of the respondents expected no change in the level of those expenditures over the next three years,” according to the report. “Additionally, 20.15 percent of the respondents expected their levels of retail purchases to increase over the next three years. However, when asked to predict the level of their household’s online purchases over the next three years, nearly 68 percent of respondents expected them not to change from current levels, and nearly 28 percent of respondents expected to increase their online purchases.”

To read the complete Springs Insight Exchange report, visit springsinsightexchange.com.