Tables and chairs outside Peet's on Solano Avenue

Solano Avenue is one of Berkeley’s main shopping districts, but it’s currently suffering a large number of vacancies as local businesses have been hit by the recession.

Councilmember Laurie Capitelli, whose district covers North Berkeley and the Thousand Oaks neighborhood, is running a survey on views of Solano in an attempt to change the situation. He’s seeking the views of both neighborhood residents and those who come from other parts of Berkeley and surrounding cities to use Solano. You can take the survey here.

Among the issues raised in the survey is whether the quota system, which restricts the number of restaurants on Solano, should be relaxed, whether there should be more outdoor seating (it took Peet’s three years to get the seating shown above), and whether there should be more planting.

Lance Knobel (Berkeleyside co-founder) has been a journalist for nearly 40 years. Much of his career was in business journalism. He was editor-in-chief of both Management Today, the leading business magazine...