Survey results: living the good life in Eden Prairie

eden prairie logoEden Prairie may not quite be utopia, but it’s pretty close, according to some residents.
Four-hundred residents were contacted in November for the city’s biennial Quality of Life Survey. Results revealed that 99 percent of the respondents rate the city’s general quality of life as excellent or good.
Bill Morris, president of Decision Resources, presented the results at the Jan. 22 Eden Prairie City Council’s meeting.
“This places Eden Prairie in the top 10 of Twin Cities suburbs and number five across the metro area,” Morris said.
Park trails and recreation, friendly people, schools and open space topped the list of things residents like most about the city.
“Many people still hold onto the small town aspects,” Morris said.
Traffic congestion topped the list of what people like least, at 17 percent.
“The norm is 25 to 30 percent in the metro area,” Morris said. “The concern is lower here.”
Almost one-third of the respondents – 29 percent – could think of nothing negative about the city, Morris said.
“These are your boosters,” Morris said. “The average is 6 percent. Eden Prairie has five times as many as normal. It is the number one community on the scale of boosterism.”
City services were highly rated by those surveyed. The average positive rating for city services was 96.6 percent, Morris said, making it the highest across the metro area.
“No service received more than a 10 percent negative rating,” he said. “Even on hot-button services, people here are very, very satisfied with what you are providing.”
High marks also were given to streets, with 96 percent of the respondents rating them excellent or good overall. Neighborhood streets earned a rating of 98 percent good or excellent.
According to Morris, the excellent ratings on roadways improved overall from 12 percent to 24 percent over 2010 for streets overall, and excellent ratings increased by 15 percent for neighborhood streets during the last two years.
The value of city services was rated excellent or good by 84 percent of the recipients.
“In the last six years, people who rated it lower has shrunk by half,” Morris said. “Those who are saying [city services] are excellent has doubled. That’s one of the highest ratings in the metro area. People feel they are getting their money’s worth [in Eden Prairie].”
Residents who were surveyed also rated park and recreation opportunities very high. Excellent ratings doubled, from 23 percent to 45 percent over 2010, Morris said. Excellent ratings for park maintenance improved from 28 percent to 45 percent since 2010, a 17 percent change.
City staff was rated good or excellent by 87 percent of the respondents. “Compared with other communities, the percentage of positive ratings is in the top range across the metro area,” Morris said.
Contacts with city hall earned “outstanding ratings right across the board,” Morris said. “The ease of reaching help is the highest across the metro in a decade.”
Eden Prairie is not without some issues, however.
“There has always been an issue with traffic congestion,” he said.
But Eden Prairie is one of the few cities in which “tax hostility” has dropped well below the norm, he said.
“People are very pleased with the natural resources and finances the city has undertaken,” Morris said. “You have now built up a phenomenal reservoir of good will. You are the top in boosterism across the metro area. You have earned it.”
The Quality of Life survey is conducted every other year in Eden Prairie to gather residents’ opinion and suggestions regarding current and future needs in the city, according to Mayor Nancy Tyra-Lukens.