Poll: 72% of San Francisco residents say Bay Area quality of life has declined

The Napa Valley Register published the results of a poll which found a shockingly high percentage of people living in the Bay Area feel it is on the decline. That was especially true in San Francisco where 72% felt the city was on the decline because of the high cost of living, traffic, and homelessness:

The dissatisfaction spreads across political parties and county lines, according to the poll of 1,568 registered voters in five counties. Just 7 percent of respondents said life has gotten better here in the past five years, and 23 percent said it’s stayed about the same.

Two-in-three renters sensed a decline in quality of life. And 64 percent of homeowners said things had gotten worse, despite massive and historic gains in property values and personal wealth since 2012.

San Francisco residents showed the most displeasure, with 72 percent saying life in the Bay Area has soured in recent years.

Given the pessimism, it’s not surprising that a lot of people are thinking about going somewhere else:

It’s so bad that about 44 percent say they are likely to move out of the Bay Area in the next few years, with 6 percent saying they have definite plans to leave this year…

About two-thirds of blue collar workers said they were likely to leave the region, far more than white collar professionals (43 percent) and service workers (44 percent). And more than half of the Latino residents and 7 in 10 black residents polled said they planned to move in the next few years.

The Register spoke to one resident who commutes up to 90 minutes each way to his job in the city. Diego Vela said his friends back home were envious of his salary but don’t really appreciate the problems that come with it. “It looks nice until you factor in reality,” he said.

Part of that reality isn’t just the traffic, it’s the petty crime and homeless people using the trains and the streets as a drug den and a bathroom. Gov. Newsom has proposed spending an additional $500 million to deal with the problem but it’s uncertain whether that will happen. Even if it does, there’s no guarantee it will help. A lot of the people living on the streets are there because they have significant drug or alcohol problems. Given a choice between getting clean or staying on the streets a lot of them will choose the latter.