Residents Believe Route 1 'Improving,' Survey Finds
Southeast Fairfax Development Corporation releases results of recent consumer survey.
In all, 56 percent of respondents said the situation on the corridor was improving, compared to 28 percent who reported things were getting “worse.” Another 16 percent were unsure.
However, 86 percent of respondents reported that Route 1 has traffic problems, and 88 percent said the corridor’s image needs improvement.
The SFDC conducted the online opinion survey, which received more than 900 responses, in February and March. David Ben, SFDC marketing and communications director, said the biggest take-away from the survey was the number of people who indicated they believed the area was improving.
“That’s really exciting,” Ben said. “We hoped that that number would be high, and it certainly met our expectations.”
The survey also found that:
- Nearly three-quarters (73 percent) of respondents dine out on Route 1 at least once a month, and 40 percent dine out in the corridor at least once a week.
- More than two-thirds (68 percent) of respondents shop along Route 1 at least once a week, and 36 percent shop in the area multiple times each week.
- The two things that respondents most wanted to see along the corridor are better restaurants (66 percent) and entertainment options (53 percent). Boutiques and mixed-use developments also saw significant support.
Ben said he was pleased by the number of responses and interest in the survey.
“We were not terribly surprised that a lot of people are concerned about traffic,” he said. “We’re concerned about that, too, but we’re also encouraged by a number of responses, like the number of people who dine per month or per week on the highway.”
In a statement, SFDC Executive Director David Versel said he was encouraged by the findings but saw room for improvement.
“We are pleased to know that the community thinks things are improving along Richmond Highway,” Versel said in the statement. “We recognize that there is much work to do to continue to attract better businesses and to make the corridor a safer and more attractive place to live.”
The SFDC plans to conduct the opinion survey on an annual basis going forward. Ben said the information would be used to help promote the corridor.
“Some of the comments and the data we found from the survey will be used for that, when we talk to community leaders and developers,” he said. “It’s something we can point to, to show support of the people who use the highway the most.”