New York City: Nine Months Later

Firefighters move single file up a steep hill near where homes are threatened in the Warm Springs area of Ketchum, Idaho, Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2007. AP

Nine months after the September 11 terrorist attacks on New York's World Trade Center, many New Yorkers still feel their effects in their personal lives. Most worry about security in and around the city and believe the threat of terrorism to them is higher than it is elsewhere in the United States.

According to this CBS News/New York Times Poll of New York City residents, more than half say there is not enough security at New York's airports, at its bridges and tunnels, and at the area's reservoirs and power plants. And when it comes to evaluating the federal government's response, nearly as many say the U.S. government is not doing enough to protect the city from terrorist attacks as say it is.

Is The U.S. Government Doing Enough To Protect NYC From Terrorism?
Yes 46%
No 44

THE AFTERMATH
Nearly a third of New Yorkers say their daily routines have not yet returned to normal even now, and that they are still dealing with the changes caused by the terrorist attacks. Although that percentage is down from the 45% who reported being affected one month after 9/11, many other indications of the attack's impact still remain.

Has Daily Routine Returned To Normal?
Now
Yes 66%
No 31%

10/01
Yes 52%
No 45

41% say there are still places in New York City they are less comfortable going to than before the attacks, a figure that has changed little since October, one month after the attacks. A third still say they are less likely now to attend events with large numbers of people. There has been no drop in the percentage of subway riders who report still being uneasy about riding them, though fewer now say that they are uneasy going into skyscrapers.

CBSNEWS - New York Times Polls
Dealing With Daily Life In New York

Now10/01
Uncomfortable going to some places in NYC

41%

46%


Now10/01
Less likely to attend large events

33%

31%


Now10/01
Subway riders still uneasy riding subways

36%

35%


Now10/01
Still uneasy going into skyscrapers

26%

38%

CBSNEWS Polls


As before, women are more likely than men to report these feelings.

The attacks affected New Yorkers personally. Most knew of someone killed, hurt, or missing in the attack, and 22% were personally close to someone hurt, missing or killed. 18% of those in the work force say they lost a job or significant income after the attack.

The impact continues to take a personal toll. Two in five New Yorkers report that at some time since the attacks they have had trouble sleeping; three in five say that they have felt nervous or edgy. The numbers who report they continue to have those symptoms, however, have declined since October.

CBSNEWS - New York Times Polls
Sleeplessness And Nervousness

Now10/01
Had difficulty sleeping since attack

39%

40%


Now10/01
Still have difficulty sleeping

16%

22%


Now10/01
Been nervous or edgy since attack

62%

63%


Now10/01
Still nervous or edgy

32%

42%

CBSNEWS Polls


Women are twice as likely as men to say they continue to have sleepless nights and nervousness. 41% of women report still feeling nervous or edgy because of the 9/11 attacks compared with 21% of men. 21% of women report current sleeplessness; just 11% of men do.

IS THERE ENOUGH SECURITY?
New Yorkers think their city is still vulnerable. More than half say that security measures currently in place at the city's airports, its bridges and tunnels and its nearby reservoirs and power plants are not sufficient. New Yorkers are surer about workplace security - by over two to one, workers think security measures there are sufficient, even though a majority report their office has made no changes in security since 9/11.

One security measure most New Yorkers support is government warnings to the public about possible terrorist attacks, even when those warnings don't contain specific information. Two-thirds think even non-specific public warnings are a good idea. On this question, New Yorkers are not much different from the rest of the country.

Government Warning About Possible Attacks, Even Without Specific Information
NYC
Good Idea 65%
Bad Idea 30

U.S. (5/2002)
Good Idea 71%
Bad Idea 25

WORRIES ABOUT THE FUTURE
Expectations for future acts of terrorism are high among New Yorkers, and many expect such attacks will be close to home. 60% think the threat of another attack is higher in New York City than it is in other big cities.

Compared To Other Big Cities, Threat Of Terrorism Is:
Higher in NYC 60%
Same 31
Lower 2

70% of New Yorkers are personally very concerned about another attack happening here. Among Americans overall, the threat of an attack is more remote; in a CBS News Poll taken in January, 22% of Americans were concerned about an attack occurring in their area, and 77% were not.

CBSNEWS - New York Times Polls
Concerned About Attack In Your Area?

NYCU.S. (1/2002)
Yes

70%

22%


NYCU.S. (1/2002)
No

28%

77%

CBSNEWS Polls


70% of New Yorkers think another terrorist attack in the United States is very or somewhat likely - down slightly since last October. Views among Americans as a whole are similar.

RALLYING AROUND THE CITY
Much as Americans have rallied around their country since the attacks last September, New Yorkers have rallied around their city, and most aren't making plans to leave it anytime soon. 86% have a good image of New York City, down slightly from a poll taken last October but much higher than in polls conducted before the terrorist attacks.

The attacks have not caused a mass exodus among city residents. Nearly two in three New Yorkers say they want to be living in New York City four years from now, and only 34% want to be living elsewhere. In a poll conducted just prior to the attacks, a similar percentage said they want to be living in New York City in four years.

Four Years From Now, Want To Live:
In NYC 63%
Outside NYC 34

There is also some evidence that New York City residents may have become nicer to each other since the attacks. 50% have a lot of confidence that their neighbors would help them in an emergency, and 34% have some confidence this would happen. A month after the attacks, 60% had a lot of confidence their neighbors would help them. Still, New Yorkers' confidence that neighbors would help has risen since the attacks, and is higher than it has ever been.

48% think that life in New York City has generally gotten better over the past four years, and longer-term views of New York are optimistic. 41% think that ten or fifteen years from now, the city will be a better place to live than it is now. Another 31% think it will be the same as it is now, and 20% think the city will be a worse place to live. In both CBS News/New York Times Polls conducted since the attacks, views of New York City's future are the highest they have ever been.

Long-Term Views For NYC
Will be better 41%
Will be the same 31
Will be worse 20

50% rate the city's current economy as good, but nearly as many -- 46% -- think it is bad, slightly lower than has been the case over the past five years. But despite the current problems with the city's budget, 83% are very or somewhat confident that the city's economy will make a full recovery from the attacks.

Still, the attacks have probably changed New Yorkers' views on how safe it is to live in the city. Now, only 38% think the city is safer today than it was four years ago, reversing the steady upward trend seen on this question over the past five years. 21% think it is less safe than it has been. In past years, evaluations of the city's safety were probably driven only by crime; now, surely terrorism factors into these views.

Compared To Four Years Ago, NYC Now Is:
Safer today 38%
Less safe 21
Same 39

New Yorkers continue to pat themselves on the back for the way they reacted to the attacks. 61% think the people of New York reacted better than people living in other big cities would have, little changed from the 65% who felt that way last October. 29% think New Yorkers' behaved much the same as people elsewhere would have. Only 3% think New Yorker's reactions were worse.

THE WORLD TRADE CENTER SITE
As New Yorkers debate what to build at Ground Zero, there is consensus that the site of the World Trade Center should not be only a memorial. Two thirds would like to see apartment buildings, office buildings and other commercial activity in addition to a memorial. 25% think the entire site should be set aside for a memorial. There is no difference in the views of those who say a close friend or relative was killed or missing in the attack; 71% want something in addition to a memorial at the site.

What Should Be Done At WTC Site?
Memorial only 25%
Other buildings as well 68

Among those who would like to see other buildings as well, most think they should not be as tall as the Twin Towers were.

MAYOR BLOOMBERG
Views of the job Mayor Michael Bloomberg is doing as he leads the city through the rebuilding process are positive. Six months into his term, 48% approve of the job he is doing as Mayor, and 26% disapprove. This is similar to the evaluations New Yorkers gave former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani six months after he took office.

Bloomberg's Job As Mayor
Approve 48%
Disapprove 26

For the most part, the current mayor is seen as doing equally as well at rebuilding the city as the much-praised former mayor would have had he still been in office -- 50% think Mayor Bloomberg is handling the post-attack recovery efforts the same as Rudy Giuliani would have. But nearly one in three New Yorkers thinks Giuliani would have done a better job. 8% think Bloomberg is doing a better job than Giuliani would have.




This poll was conducted among a citywide random sample of 940 adults, interviewed by telephone June 4-9, 2002. The error due to sampling could be plus or minus three percentage points for results based on the entire sample.

For detailed information on how CBS News conducts public opinion surveys, click here.

  • Bootie Cosgrove-Mather

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