Thursday, October 18

Survey Says East Arlington is Blah

East Arlington
I was looking up something on Trulia when I found a new feature that might be useful to potential buyers in a neighborhood. It's called Neighborhood Features, and it's basically a survey taken by people who live in the area. Trulia also rates neighborhoods, which was useful back when we were looking, but this is more specific about certain aspects of an area that might interest potential buyers. Let's take a look at the East Arlington results, along with my perspective:

% = people agreeing with statement

99% It's dog friendly
On a nice day with my windows open, I can hear this one dog barking for hours, and no one else seems to care. One neighbor lets their old dog wander around and poop on anyone's lawn. Basically, I'd say it's a laissez faire attitude rather than being dog friendly. I do not own a dog, even though I used to have dogs growing up, but I'm also not going to call the cops on my dog-loving neighbors.

99%There are sidewalks
Yes, we have those in most neighborhoods. However, if a particular neighborhood has shallow driveways (like ours), you can't fully use the sidewalk for walking. You then use the sidewalk to get to the driveway ramp in order to walk in the street until you can pass several houses with cars over the sidewalk. When looking for a house, this might be an issue, but it's more of an issue for those dog owners, I suppose, since barely anyone else walks around here.

98%Car is needed
And that's why no one walks: there's no place to walk to, besides around your own neighborhood. East Arlington is not a mixed-use area unless you live near the big streets with businesses. That's not entirely a bad thing, especially in a city where pedestrians are endangered all the time.

97%Parking is easy
Again, this depends on your point of view. It's easy enough to park in the driveway if you're not concerned about neighbors having to go around your vehicle. On-street parking is limited because of mail boxes rather than mail stations like in our old neighborhood. I kind of like the idea of all the neighbors having to congregate for mail and a little gossip. Lots of free parking at local businesses, and they're all set up in the typical mini-mall way, where it's all about the cars rather than pedestrians.  
94%Yards are well-kept
Frankly, mine right now has either bugs or mold killing it, and I've added so many chemicals to try to kill whatever it is that those chemicals are probably killing the lawn at this point. I'll probably get a notice from the HOA and have to re-sod, which I'm not looking forward to. But because there are a lot of HOAs and nosy neighbors, I suppose we have nice lawns.

93%There's holiday spirit
Because there are very few public fireworks displays, we have neighbors who take that into their own hands, and that's kind of a frightening fact. Lots of lights and stupid blow-ups (we have several). But nothing like Lenexa where we were.

93%It's quiet
I suppose, in general, it's quiet. There is an airport, and there's no real rhyme or reason to the traffic to said airport. And I have a neighbor with a loud muffler. And the fire station is two blocks away. But we lived three blocks from the expressway in Milwaukee and a mile from it in Lenexa, so that's a constant noise I don't hear anymore. I'm sure it's loud if you're in East Arlington by Atlantic.

81%Streets are well-lit
We have this one light on our block that goes on and off all night long. I'd say we have lights, but it's all these LED conversion lights, meaning brightness in one direction and the perception of being well-lit without the energy consumption of a light that actually does the job. I love LED technology, but you can't play football in the street here at night like I could growing up in Milwaukee when all the orange-ish lights were installed. But I'm sure MKE is converting to more efficient lighting, too.

80%Kids play outside
Smallish yards that often lead into fairly deep ponds and no decent park system = I'm surprised at this statistic. My kids play outside because my wife (I almost wrote wolf) forces them out there. Kids are adaptable, and I see them around the neighborhood, throwing balls across the street at each other. But I also know of a few neighbors with little kids who are never, ever outside. That's kind of sad.

60%People would walk alone at night
Speaking of sad, this stat bothers me. I understand if it's snakes or gators, because I don't want to mess with them, but the question really implies because of crime. Where I live in East Arlington, I am fine walking alone at night. However, since no one else is really out there, it's a little scary. That said, I've seen the scariest characters generally during the day, walking around aimlessly. I suppose they could all be waiting in the woods at night, but that would lead to all kinds of bug bites.

54%They plan to stay for at least 5 years
I am sure it's the typical desire to move to St. Johns County affecting this answer. We also have a lot of military here, so that plays a role. I'd love this rate to be much higher, and if it was, we'd probably have more people walking around alone at night.

37%Neighbors are friendly
I wonder what this means. The main problem I have here is ever SEEING the neighbors. When I do see them, they are friendly enough for the two seconds we interact. Very few people seem to just hang out in the front yard waiting for someone to walk by to say hi. And, yes, I basically did that when I lived in Milwaukee, but not nearly as much as all the old folks who lived on our block. Ironic that the area is 99% dog-friendly and only 37% people-friendly.

29%It's walkable to grocery stores
I live about 1.5 miles to the grocery store from here. In Lenexa and Milwaukee, it was not much different. The difference is that we did it all the time in Milwaukee and a few times in Lenexa, but never, ever here. People drive fast on major roads, there's no parking lane, and there's no grid that allows pedestrians to cut through neighborhoods instead of using those main roads. That means it's not walkable.

15%There's wildlife
Well, we have all the cats people let run wild. Those cats find most of the wildlife each night. And we have lots of dogs. No bunny rabbits. One squirrel in our hood. I've seen foxes. Big white birds in the pond, along with ducks and super-annoying geese. And turtles. Overall, it's more wildlife than our other city dwellings, but most of us don't care about the little lizards and don't want the cockroaches.

5%It's walkable to restaurants
That's a funny stat, since people seem to think there are more grocery stores than restaurants. Not true. However, I would say that I have yet to find a good restaurant in East Arlington.

4%There are community events
That's about right. Our HOA has some half-hearted events. The Jags showed up at the Dunes to throw the ball around with disadvantaged kids once. That's pretty much all I know about. Trunk or treats at local churches, I guess. 

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