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Traffic issues top woes in city survey

New Yorkers love their neighborhoods, but hate the traffic.

Those were the findings of a citywide survey conducted by the advocacy group Citizens Committee for New York City last month, which also found Queens residents were the most satisfied with their communities out of all five boroughs.

Traffic congestion topped the list of problems present in the respondents' neighborhoods. On a scale of 1 to 7, residents rated congestion a 4.5 in severity. "Dangerous intersections or street crossings" tied that score. Street noise followed with 4.4 and lack of affordable housing scored a 4.3.

But despite these problems, 75 percent of New Yorkers polled said the quality of life in their neighborhoods was "good to excellent." Queens led the pack, with 82 percent of those polled rating quality of life between "good" and "excellent." Staten Island followed with 80 percent, while 71 percent of Brooklynites and 70 percent of Manhattanites said their quality of life was between "good" and "excellent." The Bronx trailed with 63 percent.

Queens also led the boroughs in terms of residents' sense of security. Queens residents polled rated the safety level in their neighborhoods a 4.8 out of 7. Staten Island scored a 4.6; Manhattan a 4.5; Brooklyn a 3.9; and the Bronx a 3.7.

Queens residents were most satisfied by their proximity to public transportation, tree-lined streets, the closeness of shops and restaurants and a diverse mix of people.

They were, however, least satisfied with the responsiveness of public officials to neighborhood needs, the cleanliness of streets and sidewalks, air quality, the cost of housing and the availability of youth programs.

The survey polled 2,895 residents throughout the city. In Queens, workers polled residents in Broad Channel, Cambria Heights, East Elmhurst, Elmhurst, Flushing, Jackson Heights, Jamaica, Kew Gardens, Little Neck, Long Island City, Ozone Park, Queens Village, the Rockaways and South Jamaica.

Reach reporter Jeremy Walsh by e-mail at jwalsh@timesledger.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 154.

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