Residential Character. Overall, 41% of survey respondents rated the residential character of Manayunk as "good" or "very good." A small plurality of respondents, 46%, rated Manayunk's residential character as just "fair." Only 13% expressed negative opinions, saying the neighborhood's residential character was "poor" or "very bad."

The rating of overall conditions were basically consistent among the sub-areas, with only Manayunk Below the Cliffs having a slightly lower proportion of positive ratings (38% vs. 41% for the entire survey area), and a marginally higher proportion of negative ratings (16% vs. 13% for the entire survey area).

Table 2 shows respondents' ratings of individual residential character items. The best-rated features of Manayunk's residential neighborhood were its "convenience to places of worship" (80% rated this as "good" or "very good"); "convenience to work and school" (74%); "your neighbors" (55%); "safety" (52%); and "public transit service" (49%).

Overall, convenience to work and school is what most respondents liked best about living in Manayunk. This item was selected by more than one-fifth of all respondents. Other highly-rated items included neighbors, safety, and the area's sense of community (Table 3).

This question also validated common perceptions about the differences between younger and newer residents of the neighborhood, and long-time "Yunkers." Younger respondents (aged 18-34) and newer residents (less than 5 years) tended to choose Manayunk's convenience to work/school and housing affordability as "best-liked" items. Older and longer-term residents placed a higher value on Manayunk's neighbors, sense of community, and convenience to places of worship.

However, it is important to note that both groups share common values in their appreciation for neighborhood safety and the overall condition and appearance of the neighborhood.

Table 2: Respondents' Rating of Manayunk's Residential Character (% of Respondents)
Residential Characteristic Poor or Very Bad    Fair    Good or Very Good
Best-Rated Items:
Convenience to Worship
Work & School Convenience
Your Neighbors
Public Transit Service



Mixed Opinion:
Housing Affordability
Sense of Community
School Quality
Parks & Open Space



Most Poorly-Rated Items:Traffic & ParkingTaxes
Everyday Needs ShoppingPublic Recreation Facilities



By an overwhelming majority, respondents made clear that the poorest-rated feature of Manayunk's residential neighborhood was its "traffic and parking." Four-fifths of all respondents answering this question identified traffic and parking as a negative aspect of Manayunk's residential character.

By a wide margin, traffic and parking was also the item that respondents disliked most about living in Manayunk. Selection of this item as "most disliked" was consistent across age, income, and length of residence groups. These feelings were especially strong among respondents living within three blocks of Main Street, where 62% of this group chose traffic and parking as the most disliked residential characteristic.
Table 3: Most Liked and Disliked Residential Characteristics in Manayunk
Rank Respondents' Most Liked Items (n=1378) % of Respondents Who Liked Item Respondents' Most Disliked Items (n=1394) % of Respondents Who Disliked Item
1 Convenience to Work & School 22.1% Traffic & Parking 54.5%
2 Neighbors 12.4% Taxes 8.9%
3 Safety 11.8% Cleanliness 7.3%
4 Sense of Community 11.5% Everyday Needs Shopping 6.2%
5 Overall Appearance 8.5% School Quality 3.2%
Commercial District Character. Respondents agreed that the highest rated features of the Main Street Commercial District were its "overall condition and appearance" (78% rated this as "good" or "very good"); "lighting" (71%); "cleanliness" (69%); "safety" (62%); and "growth as a tourist attraction"(59%). "Overall condition and appearance" was what respondents liked best about Main Street.
Table 4: Respondents' Rating of Main Street Character Items (% of Respondents)
Main Street Characteristic Poor or Very Bad    Fair    Good or Very Good
Best-Rated Items:Lighting
Growth as Tourist Attraction
Amount of Development


Most Poorly-Rated Items:Traffic & Parking
Handicapped Accessibility
Number of Bars & Restaurants
Type of Shops & Services



By an even larger majority, respondents agreed that the poorest rated feature of Main Street was its "traffic and parking" (88%). In terms of poor ratings, no other item even came close. As might be expected, "traffic and parking" was what respondents disliked most about Main Street.
Table 5: Most Liked and Disliked Main Street Commercial District Characteristics
Rank Respondents' Most Liked Items (n=1368) % of Respondents Who Liked Item Respondents' Most Disliked Items (n=1417) % of Respondents Who Disliked Item
1 Overall Appearance 43.6% Traffic & Parking 67.3%
2 Number of Bars & Restaurants 19.1% Number of Bars & Restaurants 10.6%
3 Types of Shops & Services 19.1% Types of Shops & Services 4.9%
4 Cleanliness 6.4% Growth as Tourist Attraction 4.6%
5 Growth as Tourist Attraction 6.3% Amount of Commercial Development 3.2%
Improving the Quality of Life in Manayunk. When asked what measures were most important for improving the quality of life in Manayunk, the five highest rated responses were "crackdown on nuisance behavior" (88%); "better traffic and parking enforcement" (86%); "public parking garage for Main Street" (84%); "regular residential street cleaning" (83%); and "more visible police protection" (77%).

Those measures considered least important by all respondents for improving the quality of life were "video store" (37%); "more choices for child care" (21%); and "pharmacy" (18%).
Table 6: Respondents' Top Measures For Improving Manayunk's Quality of Life (% of Respondents)
Rank Most Important
Quality of Life
Improvement Measures
Less Important No
More Important
1 Control Nuisance Behavior 3% 9% 88%
2 Traffic & Parking Enforcement 6% 8% 86%
3 Commercial District Parking Garage 7% 9% 84%
4 Regular Street Cleaning 3% 14% 83%
5 More Visible Police Protection 5% 19% 77%
Events and Festivals. A majority of respondents expressed their approval for the five weekend festivals held in Manayunk during the year. Without a doubt, the First Union (formerly CoreStates) US Pro Bike Race is a major source of pride for the neighborhood, with 77% of respondents saying that this event was "liked" or "liked very much." Approval ratings for the other four events ranged from 54% to 61%.

Disapproval of these events ranged from 11% to 16% of respondents. Based on the comments written on completed questionnaires, much of this disapproval has to do with restricting residents' freedom of movement (to, from, and within the neighborhood) on event weekends, as well as inadequate crowd control measures.
Table 7: Respondents' Rating of Manayunk Events and Festivals (% of Respondents)
Rank Annual Events and Festivals Disapproval    Neutral    Approval
1 First Union (formerly CoreStates) US Pro Bike Race 11% 12% 77%
2 Main Street Stroll 16% 24% 61%
3 Canal Day 11% 29% 60%
4 Manayunk Arts Festival 16% 24% 60%
5 Indian Summer Feast 16% 30% 54%
Participation in Civic Groups. Only 9% of respondents indicated that they were active in neighborhood civic groups. This degree of participation was consistent across the sub-areas.

For those who are not active, "too busy/don't have the time" was the most frequently cited reason (39%). This, too, was consistent across the sub-areas. Approximately one-quarter of these inactive respondents cited the fact that they don't know enough about their civic group (such as who they are, or where and when they meet) to become involved. This suggests that Manayunk civic groups could tap a large pool of residents for involvement in the future by increasing neighborhood outreach and publicity efforts.

WRITE-IN COMMENTSThe Opinion Survey concluded with an opportunity for respondents to write-in additional thoughts and comments. A total of 728 write-in comments were received, roughly 45% of all survey responses.

Comments ranged from the humorous to the profane, and from terse admonitions to detailed statements and recommendations for improving the Manayunk neighborhood. Reviewing these comments gives the reader a very clear impression of what is on the minds of Manayunk's residents.

Listed below is a sample of the written-in comments received, grouped by the major issues affecting the Manayunk community. The comments included here were selected to illustrate both the common concerns of Manayunk's residents, as well as the diversity of opinions regarding the causes and potential solutions to these problems.

Traffic & Parking

  • This past year has been a parking nightmare, especially Wednesday and Friday nights. While there are parking lots open, visitors choose instead to park for free on residential streets, leaving few, if any, spaces for residents.

  • I would do a lot more shopping on Main Street if the traffic weren't so bad. It's impossible to run errands. The Main Street area needs additional parking. Maybe a parking garage would help.

  • Lack of guaranteed parking for residents is an ongoing problem which increases hostility and resistance to newer residents.

  • Parking permits are not a solution unless they guarantee parking for residents. I don't want to pay for a permit to park on my street.

  • I have lived in Manayunk my whole life, and parking has always been a problem. However, it is worse now.

  • Strict enforcement of parking is needed.

  • I would like to see the police ease up on giving [parking] tickets to residents

  • Ban the saving of parking spaces with garbage cans, traffic cones, and chairs. It's ugly and illegal.

  • I know residents that have 3 and 4 cars per household [who] complain about [not having enough] parking.

  • Parking problem results from families in 16-foot rowhouses trying to park two, sometimes three, cars on narrow streets not meant for parking cars. As a result, sidewalks become public parking spaces. Small, community off-street lots might help.

  • Something needs to be done about cars parked on the sidewalk, forcing children and others to walk in the street. It's a very dangerous situation!

  • Trying to get over the Green Lane Bridge during rush hour is chaotic. The City needs to install a turning lane for the bridge.

  • I would like to see better control of speeding traffic. The police should ticket speeders and drivers who ignore stop signs and traffic lights.

  • Instead of catering to the car (such as building off-street parking, etc.), we should provide a local, light-rail shuttle utilizing the Wissahickon, Manayunk, and Ivy Ridge train stations. Bicycling should also be encouraged, with more bike racks.

Nuisance Behavior

  • People in this neighborhood should not have to put up with the loud and indecent behavior from bar and club patrons, public urination outside our homes, and beer bottles dropped all over the street.

  • Bars and restaurants in the neighborhood need to be held accountable for the condition of their patrons when they leave the establishment. Public drinking and urination is a big problem.

  • Visitors have no respect for our neighborhood or residents.

  • My major concern is the random vandalism in the neighborhood. It's not worth either beautifying [your] home or purchasing a new vehicle. We need more police visibility at night, and enforcement of curfew for minors.

  • Give the local kids something to do instead of hanging out on the corners, harassing people, doing drugs, and committing petty vandalism. These children are not being supervised by their parents.

  • I have many friendly neighbors, but the kids are awful. We need more community programs and places offering adult guidance for 12 to 18 year old residents.

Neighborhood Sanitation

  • The neighborhood is drowning in dog waste. There is zero ethic of self-cleaning after one's dog. I would like to see enforcement of the dog litter law.

  • There is too much trash and litter in the neighborhood. Some residents don't dispose of trash properly. The City could also do a better job of not spilling trash on pick-up days.

  • People leave the bars and discard bottles anywhere they please, which makes the neighborhood look like a dump.

  • Neighbors throw trash on the sidewalks and don't clean up after their dogs. We can't criticize visitors if we can't clean up after ourselves.

  • People do not take in their trash cans, and few people ever sweep the sidewalks. Who teaches children that littering is OK?

Neighborhood Diversity

  • Manayunk is a good, decent place to live. Let's keep it that way. We've always had a good mix of people here in the true American tradition. Keep Manayunk, many-unks!

  • There are two cultures here. The Main Street group is doing well, taking advantage of Manayunk's quaintness. Residents struggle for survival, get the barest city services, and harbor resentment and anger

  • Visitors need to be more [respectful] of residents. Residents need to lose the "attitude" toward new people, who are revitalizing this old, wonderful part of the City.

  • Manayunk needs to grow more as a community, not as a tourist attraction. Visitors see Manayunk as a place to eat and shop, not as a neighborhood where people live and grow old.

Growth and Development in Manayunk

  • For many years the area was "dead in the water." Now it has come alive, bringing some problems which are to be expected. With problems come differences of opinion, but I am glad Manayunk has been revitalized.

  • We were better off before Manayunk was "discovered."

  • The neighborhood has been transformed, generally for the better. But the challenges have increased as well. My concern is that the challenges will become very much greater, even with marginal changes in activity. I am not opposed to more development and economic activity, but want it better planned for.

  • I'm tired of Manayunk residents pretending there were no problems here prior to [the development of] Main Street.

  • I love Manayunk, but don't like some of the changes. We have no supermarket, drug store, discount store, or other shops we can afford. Shopping is very hard for seniors.

  • Stop building large commercial projects that turn their backs on Manayunk's finest feature: its location on the canal and river. We don't need convenience commercial. People can go up the hill for toothpaste, as they've done for years.

  • I was very excited by Main Street development, but have become concerned, dismayed, and now, quite angry. Manayunk residents have been ignored, the needs of senior citizens have been disregarded, and the concerns of Main Street's immediate neighbors have been grossly dismissed

  • I love Manayunk! Please bring more bars, restaurants, and fun places.

  • Residents are being outnumbered by renters who don't care about the neighborhood. This is forcing out long-term residents whose homes are being rented out.