Misleading The Public
The Greenway Council has been misleading the public about this project from the start – everything from “lie of omission”, to outright bait-and-switch plans. Some highlights:
Dirty Data Collection
At the Greenway Council meeting on 3/8/16 they talked about the “majority support” for the project, using the term “consensus”, we asked what percentage they were talking about. “We cannot give a percentage of consensus” was the answer.
Upon further questioning, it was disclosed that they arrived at whatever numbers they have by an incredibly disorganized mix of data, which – by their description – means absolutely nothing. Some issues:
1. The overall view of “support” comes from an amalgamation of data collection from several collection points/methods. They did not catalogue the data with regards to collection point, and therefore cannot pinpoint how much of it comes from duplicate respondents, etc.
2. At least one of the data collection points collected data in a biased fashion. It was pointed out to them that multiple homeowners experienced biased data collection at the Open Streets Festival in late 2014. The Greenway representatives would record the feedback from those in support of the Greenway, and NOT record the feedback from those opposed. This was backed up by another lady in attendance (I did not catch her name). As a result, data collected from that event is biased and highly inaccurate.
3. At least one of the data collection points employed the use of push polling. This results in a skewed result. When this was pointed out to the person running the meeting, she went blank and stuttered “I don’t know what that means”. Push polling. It’s not a difficult concept, and is definitely something that should be understood by those conducting polling.
4. The online polling was open to everyone, and did not require any proof of actually living on the route. Cycling activists were actively encouraging their following to reply to the survey, and – based on statements made on Facebook at the time – it was apparent that at least some of them were dishonest about their residency.
5. As was pointed out by multiple home owners on the proposed route last night, many have STILL not received word of any of this. While they claim to be conducting “outreach”, it seems that most of these efforts have been focused on cycling communities, and not the actual homeowners and occupants along the route. From the sounds of it, when the demo goes up later this year, there will people living on the demo blocks who have no idea what’s going on – and the council people admitted as much. Further, they have not specifically contacted those on the Demo blocks to collect any feedback for support / dissent.
All of the data collected in the means described has been used to “prove” resident support for the project.
Misrepresentation of Addressing the Issues
At the same meeting mentioned above, it was stated that the council is exploring adding extra lighting to the alleyways of the Greenway demo, and would pick up the cost of that (though they currently do not have it factored into any budget.). This would be installed and paid for, for the duration of the demo, then taken down. Residents would have the option of paying for it to be kept on after the demo concludes.
… but they are not factoring the installation or cost thereof – not to mention the ongoing cost of electricity, etc – into the *final* plan.
To put a finer point on that, they are going to “address” the alley crime issues by adding extra lighting in the DEMO, with no plans to provide that in the *actual* rollout.
When specifically asked about it, we were told “I don’t think that we would tell the homeowners that the cost would be on the homeowner afterwards”.
This is bait and switch, and a very dishonest way to demonstrate how the actual Greenway plan will impact those along the route.