I asked folks on Facebook to let me know their thoughts on fireworks in Berkley. 288 people responded and there were a few surprises.
This is by no means a scientific poll but it helps give us a general idea of what Berkleyites are thinking. While the state won't allow us to prevent fireworks, this also gave me some ideas of things we can do to improve Berkley.
Some of the things I found surprising:
- About 60% think fireworks should absolutely be allowed in some form. I was expecting this to be lower.
- About 36% enjoy watching the home fireworks displays, much higher than I thought.
- It wasn't surprising that safety and noise are the biggest concerns, but more people are worried about others or family members than themselves.
- Many people support the law but want to see the curfew enforced and people to be responsible. They are afraid if people continue to break the law, they might lose the ability to use fireworks altogether.
One thing I learned that I didn't know about was quiet fireworks. They reduce the amount of noise considerably. Although we can't stop fireworks, we can try and educate people about this option so they can still enjoy their fireworks without disturbing others. This would go a long way to addressing some of our biggest issues.
Based on the comments, there were a lot of things I'd expect:
- People worry about the high-flying fireworks that rain debris and fire from the sky onto their homes.
- People would be more open to fireworks if the houses in Berkley weren't so close to each other.
Another important aspect that one person brought up is the need to coordinate with other cities. If our neighbors continue to allow loud fireworks, then people who live on the edge of Berkley will still be impacted.
Now, for the results...
Because the state forces us to allow fireworks, our options are limited. However, I encourage everyone to contact Representative Wittenberg and Senator Knollenberg with your thoughts. I'll be sharing the results of this survey with them.
I appreciate everyone who contributed. It helps me to understand what the people of Berkley are thinking. Continue to let me know your needs and concerns so I can be your voice on city council.