Thanks to the 349 residents of Morningside Lenox Park and Virginia-Highland that responded to the survey to help with visioning for North Highland through the two neighborhoods. As advertised, everyone that took the time to provide input was entered into a drawing for a dining gift card. Congratulations to Lori Peterson, the winner.
The survey found there is a profound sense of community in our neighborhoods, with more than 72% being very likely or extremely likely to recommend living or working in Morningside/Virginia-Highland to a friend. Only 6% were very unlikely or not at all likely to make that recommendation. The top reasons noted for choosing to live in the area are that it is a walkable and bikeable; there are lots of dining options; there are great parks and open spaces; and the area is family friendly and a great place to raise kids. Other reasons cited were the uniqueness, history, and safety of the area.
We were particularly interested in finding how our residents currently interact with the North Highland Corridor and their desires for improvements. Now most folks frequent the area for its dining options, both at dinner and lunch, with dinner having a higher response rate. Fewer tend to shop in its retail establishments and the use of professional services is very low with 74% claiming they never use such services along the corridor. When asked why they didn’t use the corridor more often, the main reason mentioned was little variety in dining/retail options (30%). Other reasons that figure in are lack of parking and traffic.
When queried about the types of businesses they’d like to see in the future, restaurants (73%) was closely followed by grocers (68%). It appears that most residents stick pretty close to home for their dining/shopping with almost half claiming to shop in Morningside/Virginia-Highland once a week or more. Other areas frequented were Ansley Mall, the Beltline, and Midtown.
As far as vision goes, residents cited Safety, Schools, and the Business District as the most important issues facing the area. An open-ended question that asked about their vision for the neighborhood 5 years from now also pointed to the importance of transportation, the business district, and housing rose to the top. Transportation concerns include traffic and ways to mitigate its impact on our neighborhoods. There is a common desire to see the area improve in terms of walk- and bike-ability. Respondents wish to see fewer vacant storefronts and more variety in our shopping/dining districts. Housing concerns are focused around affordability and the influx of McMansions.
The North Highland Corridor Alliance again thanks all who took the time to respond. You can rest assured that your comments will help us as we work to improve the vital neighborhood artery.