Norfolk residents value green space and outdoor dining over parking

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(Courtesy of norfolk.gov)

(Courtesy of norfolk.gov)

The City of Norfolk recently asked residents to speak up about how to deal with congestion on streets like Granby and 35th.

An online survey tweeted by the City last week sought input from residents about how public spaces should be used in the commercial corridor, and what should be given a priority. The City cited Colley Avenue and Granby, 35th and 21st Streets, saying they had high foot and car traffic as well as fairly narrow public rights-of-way.

“These streets have many uses competing for the same limited space, a characteristic which makes them vibrant, dynamic spaces, but which also necessitates careful consideration of how best to accommodate the people who use them,” the survey’s introduction said.

Respondents are urged to rank the importance of features and amenities such as outdoor dining and on-street parking. So far, the average priorities of more than 80 survey respondents suggest Norfolk residents value trees and greenery (No. 1), outdoor dining (No. 2) and clear pedestrian travel zones (No. 3) more than bicycle lanes (No. 4), on-street parking (No. 5) and wide driving lanes (No. 6).

As of Tuesday evening, more than 60 participants, or 77 percent, said if they had to choose between outdoor dining on the sidewalk and on-street parking, they’d pick eating outside. Roughly 20 people said of the two, on-street parking is more important.

More than 70 survey-takers supported the idea of removing on-street parking along one side of the street and replacing it with “dining space/parklets.” Seven people opposed this idea.

About 60 percent of those who responded said the availability of cheap or free parking is a factor when picking a restaurant; about 40 percent said parking is not a factor.

More than 50 people, or roughly 60 percent, said it is very important to be able to walk side-by-side with their companions. But 26 people, or about 31 percent, said this was somewhat important, and eight, or 9 percent, said it wasn’t important at all.

To participate in the survey or see the responses, visit the city’s website.

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Norfolk residents value green space and outdoor dining over parking