Northeast Tarrant

May 23, 2014

Residents pretty pleased with life in Bedford, survey shows

But it’s not utopia: Complaints included traffic light timing, potholes and code violations.

Had Bryon Hokanson been asked, he would have told researchers that traffic light timing at the streets that intersect Airport Freeway frustrates the heck out of him.

“If I have anything to complain about, it’s the lights at the freeway,” Hokanson said. “They’re awful on Central, Bedford Road, Forest Ridge and Brown Trail.”

Hokanson’s wasn’t among the 545 Bedford households polled by the University of North Texas Survey Research Center from February through March.

The survey showed that Bedford residents are generally happy with life in the midsize Northeast Tarrant County city but not pleased when it comes to street maintenance and the control of potholes. The condition of fences, and junk and debris in yards also got low marks.

Traffic light timing was not mentioned on the survey, nor was the North Tarrant Express, the ongoing reconstruction project that continues to plague intersections along the freeway.

In what the report called a miscellaneous comment, one unidentified resident agreed with Hokanson about traffic light timing.

“It would be wonderful if someone could please adjust the timing of the signal lights especially on Harwood and Murphy. It is very frustrating sitting and waiting for the light to change when no one is coming in the other direction.”

Mayor Jim Griffin was “particularly pleased to learn that 93.2 percent of our citizens found the quality of life in Bedford to be good to excellent and 94.9 percent would recommend Bedford as a good place to live.”

The 130-page report includes a simplified graphic that shows the percentages of residents who rated items excellent or good. No city service had less than 66.8 percent, and some, like the Police Department, the Fire Department and the public library, rated above 90 percent.

“Yet as a city we want to strive to be great in all the services we provide, so the council and staff will be working to analyze and review the data to guide future decisions,” Griffin said.

Hokanson, 57, who has lived in Bedford for 18 years, noted that his girlfriend “loves the library.”

According to the survey’s findings, ratings of the quality of life in Bedford “are higher than ratings from residents living in the Metroplex as a whole, those living in Tarrant County, and those in other Metroplex Suburbs.”

Residents’ written responses included:

• “There are several fences around town that have been in disrepair for years.”
• “Neighbor with junk at end of driveway for at least 10 years — logs, truck, old tires, etc. Good place for wildlife to make a home, which they do — possums, raccoons, rats, etc.”
• “My neighborhood could use some repairs on our sidewalks. I’ve seen people trip and fall on several occasions in front of my home.”

Griffin will present the survey results and discuss their meaning at a 7 p.m. June 12 Mayor’s Roundtable at the library, 2424 Forest Ridge Drive.

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