• Prospect Park Minneapolis Slideshow

    Prospect Park – Minneapolis, Minnesota

PROSPECT PARK nrp phase I Survey 2003

For a copy of the NRP Phase 1 Survey Questions, click here.

Summary of the Results of the Phase I Evaluation Survey of the Prospect Park/East River Road Neighborhood, November, 2003 Results were tabulated and summarized by Joyce Barta, NRP Implementation Coordinator for the Prospect Park/East River Road neighborhood.

A survey of the Prospect Park/East River Road Neighborhood was taken during
the month of November, 2003.  The survey was conducted in an effort to
evaluate neighborhood reaction to the Neighborhood Revitalization Program
(NRP) in the Prospect Park/East River Road neighborhood. The survey was
created with the assistance of students from the Carlson School of
Management at the University of Minnesota, who selected the projects to be
included in the survey, the questions to be asked, and the numerical
ratings. The survey was made available to the community in a number of ways.
Copies of the survey were placed at Pratt Community Education Center, Luxton
Park, and Schneider Drug Store and at the Bazaar and Art Fair held at the
Prospect Park United Methodist Church.  It was sent out via e-mail to
neighborhood residents who signed up to be on the Community e-list, and it
was available on the PPERRIA website. Surveys were also available at the
October and November Membership/Board of Directors meetings of PPERRIA. The
survey was announced on the e-list, at PPERRIA meetings and by flyers at
various neighborhood locations.

A copy of the survey is attached. It was composed of 3 types of questions:1)
questions with a numerical rating system, i.e. participants were asked to
rate a question on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being not at all to 5 being
very, 2) questions with space for written comments, and 3) questions asking
for demographic information.  All survey responses were anonymous.  Note: A
category of response, N/A, was added during analysis of this study.  This
category was used for those survey questions which were left blank on
completed surveys. 

As of the Nov 30, 2003 deadline, 75 completed surveys were submitted. A
summary of the results follows. Percentages do not always add up to 100 due
to rounding.

Part 1: NRP Program Awareness / Involvement

Numerical ratings:

1 (not at all)        2                      3(somewhat)        4                  5 (very)               N/A

How familiar are you with the NRP program?

4 %                     7 %                 32 %                 23               %34 %                   0 %

How involved have you been with the NRP planning/implementation?

26 %                   29 %                19 %                 7 %               19 %                    0 %

Have you been notified of planning meetings for the NRP?

7 %                     8 %                 12 %               30 %               41 %                     3 %

How satisfied have you been thus far with the communication of NRP programs?

5 %                    8 %                  16 %                 31 %              36 %                     3 %


Looking at the responses of 3 to 5, somewhat to very, the majority of the
respondents, 89%, were familiar with the NRP program, 83% were notified of
planning meetings and 83%were satisfied with the communication of NRP
programs; only 45% were involved with the NRP planning and implementation.
Looking at it from another angle, more than 5 times as many respondents were
familiar with the program, were notified and were satisfied with the
communication (as indicated by a response of 4 or 5) than those who were not
familiar with the program, not notified and not satisfied (as indicated by a
response of 1 or 2). Twice as many respondents were uninvolved (a response
of 1 or 2) than involved (response of 4 or 5).

Of 13 written comments in this section, 5 were positive, 5 were negative,
and 3 were neutral. They ranged from satisfaction with the communication
process, involvement by neighbors, and the projects carried out to
dissatisfaction with NRP, the city, and/or the neighborhood people involved.
Two respondents felt the survey should have asked separate questions on the
planning and implementation processes.

Part 2:  Reactions to NRP Phase I Projects
Seven projects were specifically included in the survey. Listing the
projects from the highest average numerical rating to the lowest, they were:
1) Pratt Community Center Renovation/Improvements, 2) Improved Sidewalk
Lighting, 3) Tower Hill Park Improvements, 4) Care & Share Foodshelf, 5)
Neighborhood directory, 6) Intersection redesign, and 7) Luxton Park
Computer Classroom.

Listing the same projects from the highest to lowest number of comments,
they were: Improved Sidewalk Lighting (21 comments), Pratt Community Center
Renovation/Improvements (17 comments), Neighborhood Directory (13 comments),
Tower Hill Park Improvements (12 comments), Luxton Park Computer Classroom
(9 comments), Care & Share Foodshelf (8 comments), and Intersection redesign
(6 comments).  Only Improved Sidewalk Lighting and Intersection redesign had
a majority of negative comments.

Project 1:  Pratt Community Center Renovation/Improvements

Numerical ratings:

1 (not at all)        2                      3(somewhat)           4             5 (very)               N/A

How aware are you that the Pratt Community School re-opened in fall of 2000?

0 %                    0 %                   8 %                   7 %           85 %                    0 %

How aware are you that the NRP program was vital in this accomplishment?

4 %                    3 %                  11 %                  10 %           71 %                     1%

How satisfied are you that NRP funds were used in the funding for this

1 %                    0 %                   10 %                 15 %           70 %                     4 %

How satisfied were you with the ability to have your voice heard during the
planning of this program?

8 %                    5 %                   10 %                  19 %          49 %                    8 %

This was the project with the highest approval rating, both in numerical
responses and in written comments. Looking at those who selected a rating of
4 or 5,  92% were aware that the school was reopened, 81% were aware that
NRP funds were vital for the project, 85% were satisfied that NRP funds were
used, and 68% were satisfied with their ability to be heard in the process.

Of 17 written comments in this section, 10 were positive, 3 were negative, 2
were neutral, and 2 were difficult to categorize. Those with positive
comments felt that it was important to have a school in the neighborhood and
that it was a very good use of the funds.  The 3 negative comments concerned
the process used to plan/decide on this project.

Project 2:  Tower Hill Park Improvements

Numerical ratings:

1 (not at all)        2                      3(somewhat)         4                    5 (very)               N/A

How aware are you of the Tower Hill Park Improvements?

12 %                   1 %                 23 %                 30 %                  34 %                     0 %

How aware are you that the NRP program was vital in this accomplishment?

18 %                  3 %                  20 %                 20 %                  38 %                     1 %

How satisfied are you that NRP funds were used in the funding for this

3 %                    0 %                  20 %                 19 %                 58 %                     1 %

How satisfied were you with the ability to have your voice heard during the
planning of this program?

11 %                 4 %                  18 %                 21 %                   37 %                    10 %

Of 12 written comments in this section, 6 were positive, 1 was negative, 4
were neutral, and 1 was difficult to categorize. The neutral comments were
that the respondents were not involved, and the 1 negative comment was from
a respondent who would have preferred a playground over a tennis court. The
positive comments stated that the project was necessary and worth the money

Project 3: Improved Sidewalk Lighting

Numerical ratings:

1 (not at all)        2                      3(somewhat)           4                   5 (very)               N/A

How aware are you that the lower-level street lights were installed?

5 %                    0 %                   3 %                   5 %                 86 %                     0 %

How aware are you that the NRP program was vital in this accomplishment?

5 %                     0 %                  7 %                  11 %                 74 %                     3 %

How satisfied are you that NRP funds were used in the funding for this

7 %                     0 %                  8 %                  11 %                 73 %                     1 %

How satisfied were you with the ability to have your voice heard during the
planning of this program?

7 %                    4 %                   9 %                  12 %                 58 %                     9 %

This project sparked much controversy in the neighborhood. Looking at those
who selected a rating of 4 or 5, 91% were aware of the project and 85% were
aware that the NRP program was vital to accomplish this project.  Given the
controversy, it might be expected that far fewer respondents would give a
positive response to the next 2 questions, yet 84% were satisfied that NRP
funds were used for this project and 79% were satisfied with their ability
to be heard in the planning of the lighting.

Of 21 written comments in this section, some were directed toward the
lights, some toward the decision process, and some commented on both, so for
purposes of analysis, each comment was rated positive, negative or no
comment for each aspect. Lights: 10 were positive, 2 were negative, and 9
did not comment on the lights specifically.  Decision process: there were no
positive comments, 16 were negative, and 5 did not comment on the process
specifically.  Of those 16 negative comments on the decision process, 5
blamed NRP, PPERRIA, and/or the city, 5 blamed those opposed to lighting,
and 6 did not specify who they thought was to blame but noted the

Project 4:  Luxton Park Computer Classroom

Numerical ratings:

1 (not at all)        2                      3(somewhat)               4                 5 (very)          N/A

How aware are you that the Luxton Computer Classroom replaced hardware and

32%                             13%                 23%               12%               20%                 0%

How aware are you that the NRP program was vital in this accomplishment?

28%                             13%                 15%               16%               23%                 5%

How satisfied are you that NRP funds were used in the funding for this

4%                               7%                   20%              27%               36%                 5%

How satisfied were you with the ability to have your voice heard during the
planning of this program?

16%                             5%                   20%                12%               24%                 22%

There was not a broad awareness of this project. In the first two questions
on awareness, roughly equal numbers of respondents used a rating of 1or 2
and 4 or5.  However, 63% used a 4 or 5 when asked if they were satisfied
that NRP funds were used, and 21% used a 1 or 2 when asked if they were
satisfied with their voice being heard in the planning.

Of 9 written comments in this section, 5 were positive, 2 were negative, and
2 were neutral. One of the negative comments concerned Luxton as a whole and
not the computer classroom specifically.

Additional Projects

Fewer questions were asked concerning the following three additional

Numerical ratings:

1 (not at all)        2                      3(somewhat)         4                  5 (very)            N/A

Intersection Redesign

How satisfied are you with the redesign of the intersections at
Franklin/East River Pkwy/E. 27th, and Malcolm/Orlin?

15%                             9%                   31%          23%               14%                 7%

How satisfied are you that NRP funds were used for the redesign of these

11%                             12%                 24%           24%               25%                 4%

In the 6 written comments in this section, several rated the two projects
individually.  There were 1 positive and 3 negative comments on the
Franklin/East River Road E. /27th intersection and 1 positive and 1 negative
comment on the Malcolm/Orlin intersection. One comment was contradictory--
it said the latter was a poor compromise and the latter was good. One
respondent was not aware of the redesign project.

Neighborhood Directory

How satisfied are you with the neighborhood directory?

9%                               5%                   13%            24%               32%                 16%

How satisfied are you that NRP funds were used for the neighborhood

7%                               4%                   13%             24%               41%                 11%

Of the 13 written comments in this section, 9 had never heard of the
directory, 2 were very pleased with it, 1 felt it should be updated and 1
respondent never had occasion to use it.  Of the 9 who hadn't heard of the
directory, 1 would be delighted if it were available and 1 felt it was
"apparently done for a few people and not for the benefit of all
residents." It may be noted that the directory was one of the first
projects completed and was perhaps forgotten by some people.

Care & Share Foodshelf

How satisfied are you with the support of Care & Share Foodshelf?

7%                               3%                   19%              18%               39%                 15%

How satisfied are you that NRP funds were used to support the Care & Share

8%                               1%                   18%               16%               41%                 16%

Of 8 written comments in this section, 5 were unaware of the food shelf, 2
were unaware that NRP funds were used (of which was dissatisfied with the
level of support for the food shelf), and 1 stated it should have been
federally funded.

Other Projects:

When asked what other projects NRP has accomplished that they were aware of,
25 respondents replied, listing a total of 17 projects. Projects listed,
with the number of respondents naming it in parenthesis include: housing or
housing redevelopment (7),  SWIM (4), SE Seniors (4), gardens (4), speed
bumps (4), remodel Pratt (3), signs (3), history project (1), Luxton sports
equipment (1), music programs (1), environmental coordinator/anti-pollution
efforts (4), jobs program at Glendale (1), Bookmobile books (1), buckthorn
removal (1), neighborhood cleanup (1), and "various"  or no specific
projects listed (6).  There were 31 positive comments on specific projects
and 2 negative (SWIM and housing).

Other Comments:

When asked for any other comments, 18 people responded. Since this these
responses varied greatly, they are listed here, in no particular order:

1. NRP projects have greatly improved neighborhood and encouraged residents
to make improvements.

2. Be very cautious about "the process".  The street light process was

3. The volunteers and paid staff did a great job.  There were hundreds of
volunteer hours. I appreciate their efforts especially those who worked on
reopening the school and getting the streetlights.

4. NRP has made a very important positive difference in our neighborhood.

5. Things happen with NRP funds. You write you're trying to help people.
Programs need to be monitored and Glendale needs more help with the care and
share food shelf.

6. I think NRP decisions are made by a small group and that ordinary
citizens are not involved.

7. Basically NRP has really helped in reversing the downward slide of our

8. See letter about Care and Share food shelf and not many supporters (This
comment was written at the very bottom of the survey, not under any question
-- it seems to fit under this question. No indication was given as to where
the letter referred to may be found.)

9. Reallocation process was painful and frustrating; number of projects
proposed from outside neighborhood was staggering.

10. Housing development was the biggest capital project.  How come this
survey completely fails to mention housing?

11. Plan funds needed for housing improvement went to other programs.

12. The design of the Franklin bridge intersection is OK, but the painting
of lane lines is NOT OK at all.

13. NRP funds that are used to accomplish improvements that local agencies
would be (or should be) doing anyway pit organized groups against each other
and don't reflect special neighborhood needs.  In the process, more heat
than light can be generated.

14. I live on East River Terrace and save for the lighting, am unaware of
any other funds having been spent in that area.

15. The answers above should allow for "I don't know" you ask how satisfied
I am about something, such as the food shelf, and I don't know anything
about it.  How can I be "satisfied"?

16. The neighborhood can be very proud of the many NRP projects accomplished
in spite of frustration and long hours of hard work. The reopening of the
elementary school at Pratt and the renovation of the Pratt building and
support for continuing use for the whole community will assure the continued
viability of the Prospect Park/Glendale neighborhood.

17. The NRP funds have been a huge boon to our neighborhood and I am opposed
to any move by the city of Minneapolis to diminish this program in favor of
more centralized fiscal management. This program brings balance between city
hall and the neighborhoods. It is essential that NRP continue to be funded.

18. Eliminate the NRP!

Part 3: Future Programs

Is there anything you would suggest to improve your neighborhood should
future NRP funds be available?

There were 31 responses to this question, many of which concerned the
neighborhood's appearance (landscaping/green space, railroad tracks, power
lines, lighting), housing, support for neighborhood groups and institutions
(Pratt, SE Seniors, Luxton, Glendale, Care and Share Foodshelf), and traffic
and noise issues (sound walls, traffic calming, work on intersections,
parking).  Also mentioned were community building events, community learning
and historic designation. One respondent wanted to abolish NRP.

All of the following ideas were mentioned by one respondent, unless another
number is noted in parenthesis: preserve green space; remove weeds on park
land near E River Rd and railroad bridge; buckthorn removal; add landscape
definition to Tower Hill Park entry; replace retaining wall on Williams Ave;
add boulevard plantings on University Ave; attract neighborhood friendly
retail, especially on University Ave (2); remove railroad tracks across
Franklin; monitor undesirable activity near railroad tracks; bury power and
phone lines (2); add lighting in dark areas; pedestrian lighting on East
River Road; add welcome signs at the Franklin Ave entrances to Prospect
Park; housing (loans for exterior home repair, housing on edges of
neighborhood, loans and grants to improve housing, especially for the
elderly) (3); air conditioning for Luxton (3); support athletic teams at
Luxton; more help for Glendale and Care and Share Foodshelf; more help to SE
Seniors (2); more support for Pratt (2); more support to develop 3rd floor
of Pratt (2); expanded playground at Pratt; put a playground in the park;
add a sound wall on Interstate 94 (2); improve the Franklin/East River Road
intersection; possibly add more traffic lights on Franklin Ave; work on
traffic/speeding problems (3); traffic calming on the river parkway and
University Avenues; a road(s) through the SE industrial area from University
to Como; upkeep of intersection of Cecil and E River Parkway; control and
monitor parking; community building events; community learning; historic
designation for the neighborhood; abolish NRP.

Is there anything you would suggest to improve the process by which NRP
funding is used?

There were 13 responses to this question, which are transcribed below.

1. No, PPERRRIA leans over backwards to be fair.

2. Continue to publicize and welcome community input.

3. There is a major problem with a few very angry residents there may be
no solution, since they do not want to help the process, they want to win
and to beat everyone else up. But is it very unfortunate for the
neighborhood.  I cannot propose a solution.

4. Make sure that the rules used to carry out a process are not changed
during the process!  This happened during the street level lights project
because Council Member Campbell arbitrarily intervened and angered many

5. Ethics, New Leadership

6. Deliver notice to everyone in the neighborhood at least a month in
advance.  Funds allocated for operating expenses or agencies that extend
beyond the neighborhood should only be eligible for funds left over after
activities/improvements are funded.  Or put it back into the city funds to
restrain tax increases.

7. More logistic assistance from city offices that have less responsibility
since volunteers and NRP employees are doing the work of neighborhood

8. Eliminate the NRP and return the funds to the city budget. This is not to
say that neighborhood input should not be solicited and considered, but
rather that professionals should be running these projects, not the very
selfish and non-representative officers of neighborhood associations. Even
bureaucracies are more responsive than PPERRIA has been!!

9. Have planning development done by city planners and professionals, not
neighborhood fanatics.

10. Better integration of process with normal city government through
neighborhoods or regional area coordinators working directly with citizens
instead of a centrally based NRP staff, i.e., less people downtown and more
accessible to folks.

11. Reduce the amount of paperwork required for funding projects

12. More sensitivity where there is the prospect of increasing tax levy


13. Support NOISE Barrier all along the freeway!


Gender: 36% male, 63% female, 1% no answer.

Number of children in household: 73% no children, 9% 1 child, 7% 2 children,
1% 3 children, 9% no answer.

Number of adults in household: 24% 1 adult, 63% 2 adults, 3% 3 adults, 11%
no answer.

Age of respondent: 0% under 25, 1% 25-34, 13% 35-44, 25% 45-54, 56% 55 or
over, 4% no answer. (81% were age 45 or older)

Home ownership: 81% homeowners, 8% renters, 11% no answer.

Number of years living in the neighborhood: 7% 0-2, 9% 6-10, 17% 11-20, 13%
21-30, 31% 30 or more, 17% no answer. (62% had lived in the neighborhood
over 20 years.)

Ethnic background: 7% Black, 87% white, 7% no answer