SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – The future of Morgan Square has been up for debate for the last few months. After several heated discussions between Spartanburg business owners and city council members, city leaders decided it was time for the pubic to weigh-in through an online survey.
The city created a 17 question survey to gauge the public’s opinion and allowed Spartanburg County residents to respond for a month.
The most highly contested question on the survey: Should a part of West Main Street remain permanently closed to expand outdoor dining?
According to Chris George, communications manager for The City of Spartanburg said, more than 3,400 people weighed in and overwhelmingly 55 percent of people voted ‘yes’.
City leaders said this is by far the largest amount of participants they’ve ever received with an online survey.
“Most groups lined up pretty well with that overall number on keeping the square closed. We did have some differences among people who were 65 and older and people who say they visit downtown less than once a month,” George said,” More of those people favorited opening the street, but still over 40 percent wanted to keep it closed.”
Here’s a breakdown of the background of survey participants:
- 65 percent of people who took the survey identified as female, 88 percent were White and people ages 25 to 34 made up the majority of participants.
- 6 percent visit downtown at least once a week or are downtown workers/residents.
- 95 percent of people said they drive into downtown Spartanburg.
- 93 percent of respondents visit restaurants when visiting downtown Spartanburg
According to the city, the lack of racial diversity in survey participants is reflective of the lack of racial diversity in downtown Spartanburg’s overall environment.
Spartanburg City Council will use the results from the survey to make a decision on whether or not W. Main Street will permanently close for expanded outdoor dining.