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The Kansas City Star’s State of the Neighborhoods report card

I. Trends within neighborhoods        SubjectType of measure and comparisonTallyBetter or worse:     Violent crime% of neighborhood clusters with decreasing violent crime this decade67%Better Property crime% of neighborhood clusters with decreasing property crime this decade86%Better Housing appreciation% of neighborhood clusters whose home-price change this decade is beating inflation81%Better Housing rehab% of neighborhoods with increasing rehabs, 2000-01 compared with 2004-0513% WorseElementary math scores% of clusters with increasing public elem. school math scores this decade71%Better Elementary reading scores% of clusters with incr. public elementary communications scores this decade43% WorseHigh school test scores% of clusters with increasing public high school ACT scores this decade55%Better Cleanliness% of neighbohoods with decreasing Litter Index between 2003 and 200669%Better Retailers% of neighborhood clusters with more retail businesses this decade21% WorseHealth care% of neighborhood clusters with more health care providers this decade62%Better Nightlife% of neighborhood clusters with more restaurants in 2004 than 199956%Better Neighborhood stability% of neighborhoods with increasing owner-occBetteried housing this decade56%Better Population% of neighborhood clusters with increasing estimated population this decade48% Worse     II. City-wide neighborhood-oriented trends or services        SubjectType of measure and comparisonTallyBetter or worse:     Criminal assaultstrend in total # of assaults with weapons this decadeDown 8.5 %Better Burglariestrend in total # of burglaries this decadeDown 4 %Better Police response timestrend in # of patrol divisions with lower ave. response time, 2005 vs. 20013 of 5 higher WorseTraffic accidentstrend in total # of accidents this decadeDown 19 %Better New housing startstrend in single-family permits this decade, 2001-02 average vs. 2004-05 averageUp 29 %Better Street repavingtrend in # of street lane miles resurfaced, 2001-02 average vs. 2004-05 averageUp 19 %Better Potholestrend in % of major streets that failed condition assessment, 2005 vs. 2001Down 79 %Better Water-main breakstrend in # of breaks this decade, 2000-01 average vs. 2004-05 averageUp 52 % WorseRecreation usetrend in users of city Community Centers this decadeDown 23 % WorseNeighborhood partiestrend in # of block party permits this decade, 2000-01 average vs. 2004-05 averageUp 8 %Better Air qualitytrend in pollution emissions by types of emission this decade3 of 5 downBetter Firestrend in # of structure fires this decadeDown 23 %Better Health care for motherstrend in % of pregnant woman not receiving adequate prenatal care this decadeDown 5 %Better Health insurance indicatortrend in number of emergency room visits (in some cases reflects lack of insurance)Up 11 % Worse     III. Trends in city spending on neighborhood-oriented services, adjusted for 13.4% inflation 2000-2005        SubjectType of measure and comparisonTallyBetter or worse:     Code violation inspectorstrend in number of positions in property code inspections this decadeDown 31 % WorsePark maintenancetrend in budget for park land, equipment and building maintenance this decadeUp 19 %Better Boulevard Betterkeeptrend in budget for boulevard and parkway maintenance this decadeUp 70 %Better Housing rehabtrend in budget for housing rehab and development programs this decadeDown 2 % WorseBuilding demolitionstrend in budget for demolitions of decrepit dangerous buildings this decadeDown 34 % WorseVacant lot cleanBettertrend in budget for vacant-lot mowing/weed abatement this decadeDown 46 % WorseTree trimmingtrend in spending on tree trimming this decadeUp 61 %Better Water-line maintenancetrend in budget for water-line maintenance this decadeDown 14 % WorseNeighborhood assistancetrend in budgets for neighborhood centers this decadeDown 67 % Worse     Totals:   22 Better, 14 Worse    61 % better overall     Sources:    UMKC Center for Economic Information, city satisfaction surveys, city budget, city departments, The Star’s research.  

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