Friday, August 9, 2013

Get Involved and Join the 35th Ave Committee!

The 35th Ave Committee is the all-volunteer, grassroots group comprised of residents from the Ravenna, Bryant, and Wedgwood neighborhoods in NE Seattle. We're not a group of professional planners, architects, or land use attorneys...we're leadership consultants, biologists, physicians, teachers, and the like. We live here, are invested in this community, and want to proactively plan for the unavoidable changes that will occur along 35th Ave NE...our business district. Our goal is to engage our community and attempt to develop land use tools that faithfully represent the community's share vision for the business district.

Currently, there are 9 members of the 35th Ave Committee. We meet monthly-ish or slightly more if needed. If you're interested in participating, please don't hesitate to get in touch. Shoot us an EMAIL and tell us a little about yourself.  We always love to hear from folks who are passionate about land use, whether or not it's your profession.

What Kind of Businesses Did We Hear that People Want on 35th Ave NE?

As the results of our 35th Ave NE Survey indicate (HTML Link), the majority (92%) of respondents desire an increased diversity of businesses throughout the 35th Ave NE Business District.  Currently, the most frequently used business types currently include 1) shopping/grocery, 2) coffee/snack, and 3) banking.  But what are the most desired business types that respondents would like to see?  Well check out this cool word cloud!

Here's also our attempt to summarize what we heard from the respondents.

Dim Sum
Decent pizza restaurant
Breakfast/brunch/lunch place
Bagel shop
Café/deli/sandwich shops with healthy foods
Prepared, carry-out foods
Gluten free bakery
Organic food outlets
Ice cream/gelato/frozen yogurt
Specialty desserts, e.g., pie shop
Smoothie/Juice bar
Pub/brewery, like Elliot Bay Brewery
Affordable neighborhood bistro
Family friendly
Finer dining
Artisan food shops, like La Pasta
Wine/cheese bar
Kosher deli or restaurant or butcher
Dog friendly restaurant
Tea house
Food trucks at park on Saturday nights
Fish taco cafe
Restaurants/Food Service, specifically mentioned
Sandpoint Grill
Molly Moons
True Food Kitchen
Elliott Bay
Red Mill burgers
Tutta Bella
Macrina Bakery
Nana’s Soup
Frank’s Oyster House
In-N-Out Burger
Paseo sandwich shop
PlayDate SEA
Zingerman’s Deli
Zoka’s coffeehouse
Zippy’s Giant Burgers
Twirl Cafe

Specialty Food Stores
Trader Joes
Chinese grocery
Farmer’s market

Children’s bookstore
Third Place books with community gathering space

Kid clothing store
Consignment shop for kids, clothes and toys
Vintage clothing
Boutiques – clothing, gifts, cards
Fitness clothing

Yarn/craft/art store
Art gallery
Artist’s co-op
Ceramics studio -- wheels, kilns

Small gym/fitness
Kids gym

Ace or City People’s or McVicar’s hardware

Performance/Gathering Spaces
Small movie theater, live theater, performance spaces
Music studio rental space
Musical instruments
Music venue
Community center with meeting rooms
Retro video arcade
Healthy hangout for teens
Family friendly evening entertainment, e.g., bowling

Auto parts
Shoe repair
Small appliance repair
Computer repair

Small Business Services
UPS store
Photo copy & business printing store

Credit union

Daycare/kid activity
“Math N Stuff”
Doggie daycare/grooming
Dollar store
Home decorating accessories
State licensed marijuana store
Garden store
Bike shop/community based bike shop
Antique store
10,000 Villages
Party supply store

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Diving Deeper Into Our Survey Results

If you're a "numbers person", you can download the MS Excel spreadsheet (.XLS, 92KB) of our recent 35th Ave NE Survey results and go crazy.  We did just this to look beyond the summary results (HTML Link) and see if there were any trends that weren't apparent at first.  Here's a summary of our additional analysis.
  1. Were the survey results "stacked?" The first question we thought we'd try to address is whether anyone "stacked" the results by taking the survey multiple times. This question was brought up on the Wedgwood Community Council's Facebook page in response to how many people completed the survey. While we did not require any personal identification on the surveys, the online survey captured the unique IP address from each computer that completed a survey. In lieu of being able to answer this question directly, we can figure out how many surveys were completed on a single computer.
    Here's what we found! Turns out there were 51 occurrences where the same IP address was recorded on multiple surveys, totaling 116 surveys. Most of these duplicate IP addresses were associated with 2 surveys, which is not uncommon for a single household with a shared computer. Of the remaining duplicate IP addresses, there was 1 occurrence associated with 5 surveys, 2 occurrences associated with 4 surveys, and 4 occurrences associated with 3 surveys.

  2. Does the business preferences change for residents vs. non-residents?  We were interested in seeing if there were distinct differences in motivation to visit 35th Ave NE between those that self-described themselves as "living in the neighborhood" versus not.
    Here's what we found! Of the surveys we received, 913 respondents identified themselves as living in the neighborhood while only 111 said they did not. Therefore, the data set associated with non-residents was much smaller and may not be as reliable as the data set for residents.  Nevertheless, we have compared the data out of curiosity.

    From a review of this data, there doesn't appear to be a significant difference between residents and non-residents on their reasons for visiting the 35th Ave NE Business District.  However, as we mentioned in our original review of the data, an error in our survey was the failure to include the NE Branch Library as an option.  From our review of the data, it appears that may respondents included the library under the "Personal Business" category, which the 2nd largest category selected by non-residents. This may suggest that the NE Branch Library serves as a draw to the 35th Ave NE Business District which attracts non-residents.

    Of the other notable differences, fewer non-residents (21%) visit the 35th Ave NE Business District for "Shopping/Grocery" than residents (29%) and fewer non-residents (3%) visit the business district "To Walk" than residents (8%).

  3. Was there a difference in demographics between those that responded online versus submitted hardcopy surveys?  We thought we'd look into this question since we tried hard make sure everyone in the community had that opportunity to respond to the survey. Not only did we include four options for people to submit their results, but we posted flyers for the survey throughout numerous businesses (cafes, banks, library, dry cleaners, laundromat, and others) as well as at bus stops and on telephone poles to make sure we got the word out.  We also had information on the survey posted on our website, the Wedgwood Community Council's website, Ravenna-Bryant Community Association's website, and the Ravenna Blog's website.
    Here's what we found! As it turns out, the majority of respondents we heard from were white women for those that completed hardcopy and online surveys. However, there appeared to be a difference in age range in those that completed hardcopy versus online surveys.
    The data suggests that of the 1,012 respondents who provided their age (123 hardcopy respondents + 889 online respondents), there were more respondents by percentage between the ages of 50-64 (36%) and 65+ (33%).  Meanwhile, the majority (53%) of online respondents by percentage were the ages of 30-49.

  4. Is there a difference among different age rages on their comfort level with increased development and a more diverse selection of businesses? Based on the results of Q25, Q26, and Q29, it appears that a strong majority of respondents are comfortable with more development within the 35th Ave NE business district, a more diverse selection of businesses types on 35th Ave NE, and a predominance of people who think the business district is currently underdeveloped. However, we were interested to see if there was a demographic group that was less supportive of these results than others.
    Here's what we found! As it turns out, every age range was strongly in favor of these results, albeit some stronger than others. Nevertheless, there appears to be support for increased development and greater diversity of businesses on 35th Ave NE. Of course, these questions were designed to force an answer to a difficult question without the opportunity to elaborate. In reading through the comments, it's clear that while most people are agreement on these outcomes, the scale, size, location, design, and other factors are clearly variables that influence the responses and were not captured in these statistics.
This additional digging into the data was to help us better understand the nuances of the survey and make sure that we're faithful to the data provided to us by those who completed the survey. If you'd like, dive into the data and share your findings in the comments section below.