| Solano Avenue Survey
At over 1300 participants, the response to our Solano Avenue Survey was overwhelming. Certainly everyone didn’t agree, but the wealth and breadth of the response tells me that local residents and patrons are invested in the success of the district. They expect it to be a lively commercial center for the neighborhood, one that includes services and businesses that define its character.
Results of the survey can be found at Solano Avenue Survey Results.
Most of the respondents, almost 65% of them, are Berkeley residents who live within 8 blocks of Solano Avenue. The rest are patrons who visit the neighborhood and Solano Avenue business owners. Almost three quarters of the respondents are over 46 years of age. Most come to the Solano Avenue by car (80.9%) and by foot (70.4%). Thirty percent say they come to the Avenue on a daily basis and two thirds between two to three times per week.
How did they envision Solano?
Respondents already appreciate the services and ambiance of the Avenue and want to see more of the same. They appreciate that there are very few chain stores/restaurants, and want to maintain the “independent business” quality of the Avenue.
Solano Avenue should be a thriving, pedestrian friendly commercial center for North Berkeley residents, complete with more sidewalk seating, street trees and a wide variety of shops, restaurants and entertainment venues. There should be options for later evening patrons, perhaps entertainment or later hours for restaurants. Many were very excited about the possibility of a new ice cream store.
Noted challenges within the district were parking, pedestrian safety, empty storefronts and too many beauty/nail salons. (Just because it’s named “salon-o . . .”)
Review potential zoning changes to encourage new businesses including later operating hours.
Streamline process for outdoor seating while insuring accessible, uncluttered sidewalks.
Identify appropriate locations for new street trees and explore grant funding.
Improve pedestrian safety, including wider sidewalks at Colusa and Solano, through the Safe Routes to Transit grant (2012 Work plan)
The Survey raw data can be found at Solano Survey Data
Respondent comments can be found at Solano Survey Comments