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  1. #1
    Proactive Volunteer Guest

    Lightbulb On-site Public Opinion Survey for Lake Hefner Park and Recreation Development

    City Manager's Report
    December 21, 2004

    On-site Public Opinion Survey for Lake Hefner Park and Recreation DevelopmentAs a part of the background studies for the Lake Hefner Plan, an on-site opinion survey was commissioned to determine user perceptions about Lake Hefner, the existing services and developments, and the pros and cons of additional commercial and recreational uses. The data in this report were generated through an extensive market research study conducted by Insight Market Research and Consulting (Insight).

    The sample was acquired through an on-site survey of Lake Hefner recreational and restaurant users. Respondents were asked to complete a questionnaire administered by a team of trained researchers. Data were collected every day during a representative week (October 11 through 23, 2004) including two Saturday data collection days. Each day was broken into three time periods each lasting two hours: morning, afternoon, and evening. Data were collected at nine different sites throughout the Lake Hefner recreational area including trails and restaurants.

    All interviews were conducted in person, with a total of 410 surveys completed from adults age 18+. Questions were asked that pertained to the following topics: level of usage, quality of life, level of satisfaction, new development, other trail link visitation, and demographics. All data were processed, encoded, and analyzed by Insight.

    Attached you will find a copy of the Lake Hefner On-Site Market Research Study results summary, prepared by Insight Marketing Research & Consulting.

    Lake Hefner On-Site Research Results Summary

    October 11-23, 2004

    Quality of Life

    On-site users clearly value the activities and opportunities that the Lake Hefner Trail System and neighboring restaurants provide. 92% of users indicated that the Lake Hefner Trails improves their quality of life. 65% of users strongly indicated that the Lake Hefner Trails improves their quality of life. This result clearly suggests that the Lake Hefner Trails System is a valuable asset to these residents.

    Activities

    · The most popular activities among Lake Hefner users are bicycling, walking, and running. 49% of trail users visit Lake Hefner at least monthly for bicycling, 47% visit at least monthly for walking, and 35% visit at least monthly for running.

    · Restaurant usage is also significant as 23% of users visit the restaurants at Lake Hefner at least monthly.

    Reasons for Less Usage

    · The primary factor why users do not visit Lake Hefner more often is a lack of time. 31% of users indicated that a lack of time prevents them from using Lake Hefner more often. The second most important factor is safety. 24% of users indicated that safety is a primary reason why they do not use Lake Hefner more often. Among daily recreational users, this percentage is 35% and among heavy recreational usage, this percentage is 20%. In these two segments, safety is a more important factor than a lack of time. Among light and non-recreational users, the primary factor for not coming more often to Lake Hefner is a lack of time. In conclusion, for daily and heavy users, safety concerns are the primary reason why they do not use Lake Hefner more often while among light and non-users the primary factor is a lack of time.

    Satisfaction Levels

    · The factors that received the highest satisfaction ratings from users were the cleanliness, condition of the parking lots, the amount of available parking, landscaping, availability of park facilities, the condition of walking and running trails, and the number of walking or running trails. The factors that received the lowest satisfaction levels were the number of water and drinking faucets, safety at trail intersections with traffic, and the condition of water and drinking faucets.

    Additional facilities

    · 65% of users would like to see more running or walking trails while 59% of users would like to see more bike trails. The desirability for more running or walking trails is high across all demographics including daily and heavy restaurant users.

    · Less than one-fourth, 24%, of users would like to see additional restaurants at Lake Hefner. As the level of recreational use increases, the desirability of additional restaurants decreases. Among daily and heavy restaurant users, only two-fifths, 41%, indicated that they would like additional restaurants at Lake Hefner.

    Additional Development

    · 40% of users support only ‘recreational’ type of development such as new bike trails. 31% of users support new development as long as it does not impact the trails or block the view of the Lake. 22% of users do not want to see any additional development of any type at Lake Hefner while only 5% indicated that they would be satisfied with any type of new development at Lake Hefner.

    · Among daily and heavy recreational users, there is slightly more support for ‘recreational’ type of development only. Among moderate, light, and non-recreational users, there is more support for additional development as long as it does not impact the trails or block the view of the Lake.

    · Among heavy and moderate restaurant users, there is more support for additional development as long as it does not impact the trails or block the view of the Lake. Among moderate, light, and non-restaurant users there is more support for only ‘recreational’ type of additional development such as new bike trails.

    New Development Locations

    · 38% of respondents did not want any new development at any of the potential locations. 22% indicated that new development would be acceptable anywhere as long as it does not block the view of the Lake or interfere with trails.

    · Only 16% of daily recreational users and 13% of heavy recreational users preferred new development near the existing restaurants at East Wharf. However, 32% of moderate recreational users preferred new development near the existing restaurants at East Wharf.

    · Light and non-restaurant users typically preferred no potential locations for additional development. 40% of daily restaurant users preferred new development on Grand Boulevard on the south side while 35% of heavy restaurant users preferred new development along NW Expressway.

    Reasons for Not Supporting Development

    · The most-often cited reasons that users gave for not supporting new development were blocked views (47%), a lack of peace and quiet (47%), too much traffic already (42%), too much commercialization already (42%), safety (41%) and environmental concerns (41%). Concerns about blocked views were particularly strong among heavy and moderate restaurant users and moderate recreational users.

    Other Trail Usage

    · 52% of respondents never visit other trail links such as Earlywine or S. Grand Boulevard. 25% of respondents, however, visit other trail links at least once a month. This usage of other trails is consistent across daily, heavy and moderate Lake Hefner users.

    Reasons for Lake Hefner Preference

    · Proximity (57%) and Lake Hefner settings (49%) were clearly the most important reasons why users prefer Lake Hefner. Among daily, heavy, and moderate recreation users, proximity was clearly the most important reason for preferring Lake Hefner. This was also found among daily and heavy restaurant users as well.

    Demographics of Sample

    · Respondents were spread across age categories. 27% of the sample were 45-54 year-olds while 8% were 65 years or older. The daily and heavy recreational users also had 45-54 year-olds comprise the largest age segment. This age was also the largest segment among the daily restaurant users.

    · However, daily recreational users were 70% male compared with 56% of heavy recreational users. 60% of daily restaurant users were male while only 39% of heavy restaurant users were male.

  2. #2
    Proactive Volunteer Guest

    Default Re: On-site Public Opinion Survey for Lake Hefner Park and Recreation Development

    Lake users want trails, not eateries


    By Beth Gollob
    The Oklahoman
    12-23-04

    Lake Hefner users favor additional trails built at the northwest Oklahoma City lake rather than more restaurants.
    People who support new recreational development only make up the largest group of lake users, according to the results of an on-site survey conducted in October.

    Oklahoma City paid Insight Marketing Research and Consulting nearly $10,000 to conduct the survey, which canvassed more than 400 adults Oct. 11-23 at Lake Hefner. Officials released the results Tuesday.

    Even though there was opposition by area trail users, council members earlier this year authorized developers to build the deli-style Louie's on the Lake restaurant on the east shore. Two weeks later, Ward 2 Councilman Sam Bowman called for a moratorium on further development of the area until a committee could study the restaurant's effect on the lake.

    The survey was authorized as part of that study, city Planning Director John Dugan said.

    Results show 40 percent of users would support only new recreational development at the lake, while 22 percent oppose all development. More than 30 percent would support new development as long as it doesn't affect the view or the trails.

    Safety was a significant concern to all users, especially where trails and roadways intersect. Next to lack of time, safety was the highest-ranked reason people don't use the trails more often.

    Dugan said city officials will use the results of the survey this spring to help them plan the future of Lake Hefner.

    Park users, environmentalists and other people concerned about the lake will be invited to give input during the planning meetings.

    "We'll have some dialogue with them to determine what the most important issues are," Dugan said.

    Hal McKnight, chairman of the city trails advisory committee, said he still is studying the results, but thinks the survey showed people in Oklahoma City are passionate about the trails system, both at Lake Hefner and around the city.

    McKnight, who owns Wheeler Dealer Bicycles and is an avid cyclist himself, said the trails should be free of retail development to keep them safe for users. The survey could help maintain the integrity of them, he said.

    "I think there's a place for development, and there's a place for recreation and wellness. I think to overdevelop (the trails) would compromise their beauty and safety and the quality of life they bring to thousands of people, as we see in these surveys," McKnight said.



    Attitudes toward development
    Oppose new development of all types -- 22 percent

    Only support development not affecting trails or view -- 31 percent

    Only support recreational development -- 40 percent

    Any type of development would be OK -- 5 percent

    Don't know/no answer -- 2 percent

    Source: City of Oklahoma City/ Insight Marketing Research and Consulting

  3. #3

    Default Re: On-site Public Opinion Survey for Lake Hefner Park and Recreation Development

    If anyone has questions, let me know. I am the president of UCO Marketing Association and Insight sub-contracted us to do the research.

  4. #4
    Patrick Guest

    Default Re: On-site Public Opinion Survey for Lake Hefner Park and Recreation Development

    Unfortunately, it's opposition like this that holds development back in our city. Recreational users have the entire lake to use, yet they'll complain about a small section of the lake at East Wharf. If they don't like the area around East Wharf, my advice would be to use trails along other areas of the lake. We could have nice high-rise hotels, theaters, and other entertainment venues on the lake if it wasn't for these people opposed to renaissance development in our city.

    My gosh....how many miles of trails are there around Lake Hefner? As if developing a quarter mile stretch of the lake shore is really gonig to impact recreation that much.

    I'm guessing the people that answered this survey were hick-thinking reacreation users at the lake, and not "renaissance-minded" restaurant eaters. I wonder if the results would change any if they interviewed an equivalent amount of recreational users and restaurant users. Something tells me, most of the people interviewed in the survey were recreational users and NOT restaurant users.

    I really have problems with the Sierra Club as well. I really don't know what they're trying to preserve by opposing development on the East side of the lake. It isn't like this area is natural. Lake Hefner Parkway pretty much destroyed any natural land we had on the east side of the lake. All of the land on the east side of the lake now is man-made!

  5. #5

    Default Re: On-site Public Opinion Survey for Lake Hefner Park and Recreation Development

    Patrick,

    I like you would like to see more development such as a hotel or highrise residential at the lake. Please know that the surveys were issued for 8 days, each day at all times during the day at multiple locations to assure that it was unbiased. We interviewed people from the restaurants/offices as well as recreational users/ fishermen, out of towners, etc. . Yes, there are many left wing recreational users (Hal McKnight) and others who of course we're definetely opposed to it. Please keep in mind that the data collected is only a recommendation or a "guide" to the city for future development at all the lakes and city wide trail system to make the other lakes and development as best fit. It appears we can already see progress being made to continue this development to lake overholser in a similar thread I posted earlier this week.

    Councilman Sam Bowman, featured this project on his weekly talk show a few weeks ago in great detail and it still looks like development may be saught. You may also contact him directly for more information. I'll keep you guys updated

  6. #6
    Patrick Guest

    Default Re: On-site Public Opinion Survey for Lake Hefner Park and Recreation Development

    Thanks for the update...yeah, I'm definitely excited to hear about the Overholser development. I jsut hope we get everything we were promised there...unfortunately, Hogan wasn't able to come through with everything that was promised at East Wharf, but as I've already stated, that's not completely his fault.

  7. #7

    Default Re: On-site Public Opinion Survey for Lake Hefner Park and Recreation Development

    I am a huge recreational fan. But, I would love to see more development at Lake Hefner.

  8. #8

    Default Re: On-site Public Opinion Survey for Lake Hefner Park and Recreation Development

    Having actually used the trails at Hefner quite extensively (I used to ride 2-3 laps/day on my bike), I can say that the current development had little/no effect on my usage.

    I don't really understand these "conservation" groups that want to preserve Lake Hefner. That's a little funny since it's a man made lake

    My father was chief counsel for the Highway Department (now ODOT) when they had to fight the conservationist groups that opposed the building of the Hefner Expressway (he won his case soundly). It seems that all of these conservation groups exist for is to fight any kind of development, no matter what.

    I think that the lake's location presents an excellent opportunity for businesses. I absolutely think that the city needs to treat its limited space there as an important commodity -- in other words, they had better be absolutely NASTY on whatever they charge for rent on the spaces -- it almost doesn't matter because these locations will be absolute cash cows.

    Managed correctly though, the city could sell off a few restaurant pads, and in return have a continuous source of income to provide for maintenance and development of the recreational parts of the park. I really think it has a great opportunity to be a win-win scenario.

  9. #9

    Default Re: On-site Public Opinion Survey for Lake Hefner Park and Recreation Development

    I doubt we will see that but like I said, I will keep you guys posted

  10. #10

    Default Re: On-site Public Opinion Survey for Lake Hefner Park and Recreation Development

    Quote Originally Posted by metro
    I doubt we will see that but like I said, I will keep you guys posted
    Oh, I agree. The city leaders will be more focused on giving campaign contributors or potential contributors unique money-making opportunities at a park built with public money. I think there is something obviously very wrong with such a scenario. I would really like to be in the room where they choose exactly who gets to put their restaurants on those sites -- and I'd love to know how they are going to determine the price for buying/leasing this land.

    It's too bad that the city leaders do not see this as an opportunity for the city to actually make money. Apparently, they do see it as a great opportunity to build political favor and cement their relationships with the business community. Very unfortunate for the tax-paying public.

  11. #11
    Proactive Volunteer Guest

    Default Re: On-site Public Opinion Survey for Lake Hefner Park and Recreation Development

    OKC Plan 2000-2020
    Parks and Open Space

    "Open space and a well balanced park system provide more than opportunities for recreation and leisure. Open space is a vital component of a balanced, attractive, and desirable urban environment. The role of leisure in our culture expands when a park system reaches into neighborhoods, work places, and cultural and educational facilities, and provides the transportation corridors between these sites. In this context, a park system can enhance property values, expand local businesses, attract new or relocating businesses, increase local tax revenues, and promote a sense of community.

    Amenities, such as attractive views, open space preservation, and convenient recreation opportunities, are valued by people. This can be reflected in increased property values and increased marketability for property located near such amenities. Developers recognizing these values incorporate open space into their planning, design, and marketing of new and redeveloped properties.

    Increasing population and changing demographic characteristics will continue to impose increasing demands on urban open space. A balanced and adequate system of parks and open space is essential. Oklahoma City must commit to improving and maintaining the system for present and future generations."

    This is a direct quote from the Oklahoma City Plan 2000-2020 adopted by the Oklahoma City Council September 6, 2000

  12. #12
    Proactive Volunteer Guest

    Default Re: On-site Public Opinion Survey for Lake Hefner Park and Recreation Development

    A copy of the entire report may be accessed at the www.okc.gov website. Look to the right of the page and you will have the choice of the link to the City Manager's Report and below that the link to the Adobe pdf file which contains the entire report.

    Sorry I could not place the city link in this message due to how the city posted the pdf.

  13. #13
    Patrick Guest

    Default Re: On-site Public Opinion Survey for Lake Hefner Park and Recreation Development

    My only problem with increasing open spaces and creating green belts is that most of these areas end up like the west side of Lake Hefner.....desloate, with absolutely no scenery. Many open areas end up becoming dump sites. Take open land along Hefner Rd. east of Penn for instance. Instead of being a nice green belt with trees and lanscaping, the open land is overrun with litter, junk, etc.

    I'm all for creating more open spaces, but I think we need to use these open spaces and parks in a better way. We have to many parks that are simply taking up space and aren't appealing to the eye in any way.

    A few days ago I happened to drive by Flower Garden Park....it's a small park just south of NW Expressway on Classen Blvd. (west side). I've drivn by this park many times, and for the life of me, I can't understand what the purpose of this park is. The space just isn't being taken advantage. Why? Because the city doesn't invest anything into it. I laugh everytime I drive by Flower Garden Park, because the name is a bit deceiving...there aren't any flower gardens to be found anywhere in that park.

    We need to invest in better landscaping, better attractions at our local parks, etc.

    I was driving down I-44 south today near the fairgrounds. Obviously, the fairgrounds could use a lot of work in the landscaping department. But, everytime I drive that stretch I always notice the bare gray concrete walls surrounding the highway. I always wonder why our city can't plant vines to grow up those walls to improve the overall appearance of that stretch. In Bricktown, the Park's Department has been extremely successful at getting vines to grow on the concrete walls surrounding the canal. Why can't we do the same along our interstates?

    Anyways, I know I'm sounding a little negative in my post. I think there are many good points to be drawn from Proactive's article. Atleast the city is going to place a greater emphasis on our park system. Hopefully by doing so, the city will see the needs we have.

  14. #14

    Default Re: On-site Public Opinion Survey for Lake Hefner Park and Recreation Development

    Patrick, I fully agree with you. It's amazing what a few flowers can do.

    In addition to flower park, there is another park in the east side of classen south of flower park iif I remember correctly. It has a running trail and tennis courts and does have some flowers. However, there is a fountain that has never been on. It looks pretty cool too.

    Check out OU's campus to see quite a display of landscaping. I wouldn't mind my tax dollars going to a full time team of landscapers whose only job is to go around OKC and tend to flower beds. Lanscaping can change the mindset of a lot of people when it comes to image of OKC.

  15. Default Re: On-site Public Opinion Survey for Lake Hefner Park and Recreation Development

    Personally, I could care less about jogging trails, especially in this state where the summers are saunas.

    However, there are many people who like them, so, I guess build them. We should also incorporate places like some small cafe's, shops and other attractions to break the bordom of watching water and concrete.

  16. #16
    Patrick Guest

    Default Re: On-site Public Opinion Survey for Lake Hefner Park and Recreation Development

    I'm with you Luke...we need to expand our Parks Department and put a greater emphasis on landscaping. Maybe another option would be just to fund Oklahoma City Beautiful, instead of making them rely on donations!

  17. #17

    Default Re: On-site Public Opinion Survey for Lake Hefner Park and Recreation Development

    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick
    I'm with you Luke...we need to expand our Parks Department and put a greater emphasis on landscaping. Maybe another option would be just to fund Oklahoma City Beautiful, instead of making them rely on donations!
    The money has to come from somewhere though. I'm not ready to pay more taxes until there are some major internal reforms with the way our money is spent in this city (e.g. -- get rid of the good 'ol boys system).

  18. #18
    Patrick Guest

    Default Re: On-site Public Opinion Survey for Lake Hefner Park and Recreation Development

    Midtowner, I think you're right on the money. Unfortunately, there is a good ole boy system that exists in our local government. Ask Carl Sullivan....he probably wouldn't admit it, but his language would lead you to believe he thinks that way.

  19. #19

    Default Re: On-site Public Opinion Survey for Lake Hefner Park and Recreation Development

    Heres a story that relates to the citywide trail system where they will be connecting the trails and lakes

    Developers remain optimistic about Lake Overholser project

    BETHANY - Construction hasn't begun on the Bridge Pointe project on Lake Overholser's east shore, but developers hope that could change in the next few months, their representative said Friday.
    "We're still very positive and optimistic about this project," said Ron Wilhite, Norman real estate agent and representative for development company TenCal, LLC. of Madison, Tenn.

    Bridge Pointe is on the northeast side of Lake Overholser, south of NW 39 Expressway and Overholser Drive.

    "Our priority right now is a hotel, which will be the driving force for the restaurant and retail sites," Wilhite said.

  20. #20

    Default Re: On-site Public Opinion Survey for Lake Hefner Park and Recreation Development

    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick
    Midtowner, I think you're right on the money. Unfortunately, there is a good ole boy system that exists in our local government. Ask Carl Sullivan....he probably wouldn't admit it, but his language would lead you to believe he thinks that way.
    Really, Patrick, it wouldn't be hard for a media source to expose these things. Unfortunately, most journalists lack the understanding of the workings of the city government, and the ability to properly execute a Freedom of Information Request that could really shed some light on these situations.

    I'm speaking of the Oklahoman mostly, if there's nothing in it for them or their owners, typically, it doesn't get reported.

    Name the last political scandal that they broke that had anything to do with Oklahoma City.

  21. #21
    MrsSnootyPants Guest

    Default Re: On-site Public Opinion Survey for Lake Hefner Park and Recreation Development

    Boston (Faniel Hall), Baltimore, DC, NY (Central Park & South Street Sea Port) and other cities have maximized from the attraction the water has on Tourism and tourists. The money from the Faniel Hall area changed that neighborhood in Boston. Maryland's Project had a similar effect economically on that neighborhood. In Connecticut, commercializing districts that had no attraction brought nature lovers and commerce to neglected and abandoned beaches and those revenues improved the cities not just neighborhoods and the beaches. The Warf needs development and commercialization to continue bringing progress to the city and attract conventions which create jobs. Jobs develop a need for an improved transit system and thus everyone benefits especially from those additinal transit jobs.

    OKC can be the next METROPOLITAN area to attract Olympics if we develop it. Can you see OKC OLYMPICS 2016?

    PROGRESS, PROGRESS, PROGRESS! The large companies would consider OKC for relocation due to available affordable housing, less crime than in larger cities and a better quality of life. We cant attract them if we dont provide the type of entertainment and leisure pleasure sites that conferences attract. There is nothing to do downtown for a runner, cyclist or roller blader which could be offered to a client lodging at a Four Seasons, Hyatt or Holiday in at the Warf or near it.

  22. #22

    Default Re: On-site Public Opinion Survey for Lake Hefner Park and Recreation Development

    MrsSnootyPants, what about all the new Riverfront development and parks. It is now open and will continue to expand. Also downtown usually has marathons and biking events about every two months. Building up Lake Hefner, our nicest and one of a few modern recreational areas is not the key. Encouraging more urban recreation is vital however.

  23. #23

    Default Re: On-site Public Opinion Survey for Lake Hefner Park and Recreation Development

    I think what is happening on East Wharf is what keeps Oklahoma from becoming a more business oriented state. Bricktown is helping Oklahoma City gain some national interest, but some major development on East Wharf would definitely give the local economy a good boost.

    I agree with SnootyPants, The large companies would consider OKC for relocation due to available affordable housing, less crime than in larger cities and a better quality of life.......

    however some development on East Wharf would be good. If I were held a management position in an organization I would like to be lodged in a hotel on a lake, in the morning attend a few business meetings and then have some lunch at a restaurant overlooking a beautiful lake.

  24. #24
    MrsSnootyPants Guest

    Lightbulb Re: On-site Public Opinion Survey for Lake Hefner Park and Recreation Development

    Quote Originally Posted by metro
    MrsSnootyPants, what about all the new Riverfront development and parks. It is now open and will continue to expand. Also downtown usually has marathons and biking events about every two months. Building up Lake Hefner, our nicest and one of a few modern recreational areas is not the key. Encouraging more urban recreation is vital however.

    Metro~ I hear you! But we need some running and bike paths near downtown too then if we cant develop Hefner. Im not saying make it totally commercial, just adding one 4 or 5 star hotel would increase the value of the area in real estate, bring more people to okc and create jobs. The big money makers and spenders want a luxury place like the Plaza Hotel next to Central Park? The Watergate in DC? If you want to attract affluence, economic improvement, you cant get it hosting a party catered by Taco Bell ( YO QUIERO TACO BELL) but by serving Caviar and Champagne.

    If there are serious bids put in for ONE hotel that is 4 or 5 stars in the area it will bring diversification to OKC. To attract and improve OKC we need to market it by building it up.

    It is one of the most beautiful nature sites closest to downtown.

  25. #25

    Default Re: On-site Public Opinion Survey for Lake Hefner Park and Recreation Development

    Quote Originally Posted by MrsSnootyPants
    Metro~ I hear you! But we need some running and bike paths near downtown too then if we cant develop Hefner. Im not saying make it totally commercial, just adding one 4 or 5 star hotel would increase the value of the area in real estate, bring more people to okc and create jobs. The big money makers and spenders want a luxury place like the Plaza Hotel next to Central Park? The Watergate in DC? If you want to attract affluence, economic improvement, you cant get it hosting a party catered by Taco Bell ( YO QUIERO TACO BELL) but by serving Caviar and Champagne.

    If there are serious bids put in for ONE hotel that is 4 or 5 stars in the area it will bring diversification to OKC. To attract and improve OKC we need to market it by building it up.

    It is one of the most beautiful nature sites closest to downtown.
    I couldn't agree more with you as far as bike trails downtown. I brought my bike with me when I moved here because I figured I'd be able to ride around the river, etc. Nope. I can't even figure out how to get down there. Anyone know?

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