LIFE IN MANAYUNK
Quality of Life (QOL) Rating. Overall, 60% of survey respondents rated Manayunk's QOL as "good" or "very
good"; only 11% gave Manayunk a "poor" or "very bad" rating. A large group in the middle, 29%, rated Manayunk's
QOL as only "fair."
Respondents who gave Manayunk's QOL a positive rating tended to be from younger age cohorts and new neighborhood residents. However, it should be noted that more than one-quarter of those giving Manayunk a "good" or "very good" QOL rating were very long-term residents (35 years or more); overall, 49% of this very long-term residents group gave a good or very good QOL rating.
The relatively small number of respondents who gave Manayunk's QOL a strongly negative rating (3% of all respondents) tended to be older (age 55 or more), have lower incomes (less than $30,000), be very long-term residents of the neighborhood (35 years or more), or live within three blocks of Main Street. Of those who said that Manayunk's QOL was "very bad," 66% were aged 55 or more, 76% had incomes less than $30,000, 84% lived in the neighborhood for 35 years or more, and 62% lived within 3 blocks of Main Street.
These findings are also consistent within age, income, length of residence, and proximity to Main Street categories, where respondents who were younger, newer, higher-income, or lived farther away from Main Street tended to give more positive QOL ratings; and the incidence of negative QOL ratings were higher among respondents who were older, longer-term, lower-income, or lived within a few blocks of Main Street.
Change in Quality of Life. While 32% of respondents report QOL improvements over the past several years, a somewhat larger proportion, 39%, say the neighborhood has gotten worse during that time. Like the overall QOL rating, a large middle group, 29%, report that the neighborhood has "stayed about the same."
Almost half the respondents from Manayunk Below the Cliffs (45%) reported that neighborhood QOL has changed for the worse in the past several years, significantly more than any other sub-area. In the Wissahickon sub-area, 39% felt this way. Clearly, residents of these two sub-areas have been the most directly affected by the revitalization of the Manayunk commercial district in the past decade.
In a pattern similar to the overall QOL rating above, respondents who said that Manayunk's QOL had improved tended to be younger, newer, or higher-income residents. Those who said the QOL had gotten worse tended to be older, longer-term, or lower-income residents. A significantly large proportion of respondents who said that Manayunk's QOL had deteriorated (82%) lived within five blocks of Main Street.
Staying or Leaving. Slightly more than 56% of respondents expected to continue living in Manayunk; 29% said they intended to move out of the neighborhood within 3 years (8% within the next year). An additional 15% say they would like to leave the neighborhood, but can't afford to move right now.
Respondents from Umbria Street (67%) were more likely than other sub-area residents to indicate that they expected to continue living in Manayunk. The largest proportion of respondents who reported that they planned to move out of the neighborhood within three years came from the Manayunk Below the Cliffs sub-area (34%).
Respondents who indicated that they would remain "permanent" residents of Manayunk tended to be older (48% over age 65), have lower incomes (41% below $20,000), and have strong attachments to the area (78% lived in the area for 35 years or more). Of those who expected to remain living in Manayunk, 71% were between 25 and 54 years old, and were middle-income households (63% with incomes between $30,000-$80,000); 43% had lived in the area for less than ten years. The largest proportion of those who expected to move out of the neighborhood tended to be highly mobile younger or newer residents, without the same neighborhood attachments.
Reasons for Moving Out of Manayunk. For those who are planning to move, the top three reasons cited by respondents are parking problems (23%), the need for more living space (18%), and job-related reasons (16%). These reasons were consistent across age, income, length of residence, and proximity (of residence) to Main Street characteristics. Dissatisfaction with the quality of area schools was the least frequently mentioned reason for households who are planning to move (less than 7%).The reasons given for wanting to move were also consistent among the survey sub-areas, with the top three reasons being parking problems, space needs, and job-related. In two areas, some reasons were more strongly felt than others: respondents from Manayunk Below the Cliffs mentioned parking problems (33%) more frequently than the residents of other areas; and Umbria Street residents cited the need for additional living space most frequently (30%).
|Auto Ownership. Based on the survey results, there is a high degree of auto ownership in Manayunk. Ninety percent
of the respondent households had cars (the comparable citywide rate was 62% in 1990). Of these, over half (51%)
had more than one vehicle, and 13% had three or more automobiles. The comparable citywide rates were 34% and
The average number of cars per respondent household for the survey area was 1.49, compared to the citywide average (1990) of 0.9 vehicles/household. This average varied only slightly by sub-area, ranging from 1.46 in Manayunk Below the Cliffs, to 1.56 in the Umbria Street Neighbors sub-area.
Very long-term residents (35 years or more) accounted for 31% of all vehicles reported, followed by new residents (less than 5 years) with 28%. Almost 60% of the multiple car households in Manayunk were very long-term (30%) or new (29%) residents. However, no one "length of residence" group had a significantly disproportionate number of multiple-car households. The average number ranged from 1.52 cars per household among 10-14 year residents, to 1.7 among residents who had lived in the neighborhood for less than 5 years.
Parking. Overall, 43% of the respondents reported that they usually parked their vehicles curbside, on their block of residence; an additional 21% usually parked within a block of their homes. Nineteen percent reported the use of private, off-street spaces. Only 6% admitted parking on the sidewalk, and 7% reported usually having to park two or more blocks away from their homes.
Results in each of the sub-areas basically reflected this overall pattern, with only the Umbria Street Neighbors sub-area reporting greater usage of off-street spaces, and less "curbside/block of residence" parking.
|Employment Location. Approximately 90% of survey respondents reported being employed. Of those, somewhat
more than 17% worked in the Manayunk neighborhood (82% worked elsewhere). About one-quarter of those who
worked in the neighborhood had their place of employment within the Main Street Commercial District.
Getting to Work. Eighty-one percent of all respondents reported that they commute to work. Of those, the vast majority (80%) travel by automobile, and 69% drive alone. Only 11% share a ride or car pool. A little over 14% of these commuters use mass transit (about 11% by bus, less than 4% by train). With minor variation, this pattern was consistent across sub-areas.
|Visiting Main Street. Eighty-two percent of survey respondents reported being users of the Main Street Commercial
District. Forty percent said they visited Main Street on a weekly basis (half of these were "regular" users, visiting
more than one time per week). Another 42% were "occasional" visitors (visiting as often as twice a month).
Somewhat less than a fifth of all respondents (18%) indicated that they never visited Main Street.
As might be expected, the close-in respondents from Manayunk Below the Cliffs had the largest proportion of Main Street users. Fifty-two percent reported visiting Main Street at least once per week (31% visited more than once per week). Weekly usage from other sub-area respondents ranged from Wissahickon's 37%, to Hillside's 26%. Among the sub-areas, Hillside had the largest proportion of respondents who never visited Main Street (24%).
Among Main Street "regulars" (those visiting more than once per week), the largest proportion of users were in the 25-34 age group (50% ), had middle-incomes (44% between $30,000 to $60,000), or were relatively new to the neighborhood (52% resided in the neighborhood for less than 5 years). Frequent users (once per week on average) showed similar demographic characteristics. The age, income, and length of residence characteristics of "occasional" users were somewhat more broadly distributed than these other groups.
Respondents who reported that they never visited Main Street tended to be somewhat older or have less income than the other groups. However, a large majority of non-users (75%) were residents who had lived in the neighborhood for 25 years or more.
Respondents reported visiting Main Street most often for its restaurants and bars (33%), followed by the purchase of goods and services (29%), and for strolling/window shopping (23%). With minor variations, this pattern was consistent for each of the survey sub-areas.
Among respondents aged 18-24 and 25-34, going to Main Street's restaurants and bars (61% and 53%, respectively) was the most frequently mentioned activity. For respondents in older age cohorts (age 35 and above), shopping and/or strolling was the predominant activity.
Never Visiting Main Street. The most frequently cited reason for never visiting the Main Street Commercial District was that the "shops don't carry the things I need" (35%), followed by prices that were "too expensive" (27%). Mentioned less often by these respondents was "no place to park" (15%).
Among respondents from Manayunk Below the Cliffs, "shops don't carry the things I need" was especially strongly felt, with almost half the respondents (47%) citing this as the primary reason for never visiting Main Street.
Use of the Canal Towpath. Only 50% of the respondents reported that they used the Manayunk Canal Towpath. Of the towpath users group, 16% were "regulars" (more than once a week), and 18% were frequent users (once a week on average). Two-thirds of this group used the towpath only on an "occasional" basis. Among the sub-areas, Manayunk Below the Cliffs (24%) and Umbria Street (22%) had the largest shares of weekly users, most likely due to their proximity and easy access to the canal towpath.
As might be expected, the bulk of weekly towpath users were between 25 and 44 years of age, and 41% of both regular and frequent users were relatively new Manayunk residents (less than 5 years). As suggested above, the majority of weekly users also lived close to the canal towpath, within three blocks of Main Street.
Athletic activity (such as running and biking) was the most frequently cited reason for towpath use (57%). These active uses were trailed by more leisurely pursuits, such as strolling/fishing/sitting (31%), or walking dogs (10%).
Half of the respondents reported that they never used the towpath. Of these, most indicated that they were "just not interested" (51%) or didn't feel safe (34%) using the towpath. To a significantly lesser degree, respondents cited environmental pollution (3%) and "too much litter/trash" (3%) as the reasons why they didn't use the towpath.