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Glenn Scott

Interestingly, Toronto just finished doing many of Jarrett's recommendations. After a half hour presentation, we were divided into discussion groups of about eight.

One 'discussion guide' we individually filled out was about funding sources. The second was 'transportation planning' which did not prioritize the various plans, but asked us about view transportation, land use and economic development.

They are Guides A & B at the bottom of:
http://www.feelingcongested.ca/#have-your-say

Hopefully Jarrett can review 'A' and provide some comment.


Robert Wightman

While the questions are biased in the limit of ranges that are offered I bet that many of those who designed it do not believed it is biased. After all it is just questioning the relative importance of the OBVIOUS important items. Too bad if they don't reflect your values.

At least they are not like the questions in push polls that ask questions like:

Do you agree with the governments plans to take your hard earned tax dollars currently earmarked for "Good Roads" and spend it on items like "Subsidized transport for the unemployed?"

Jarrett

Robert Wightman. Presuming a shared notion of the "OBVIOUS" is one of the most common manifestations of bias! I'm sure that one or a few well-intentioned people were doing their best with this list of options, but this is why survey design is a professional expertise and one that requires a lot of local listening to get right. Metro will need to raise its game here if this tool is to become credible. That's all I'm saying!

EngineerScotty

Not to defend Metro at all--indeed, if true I consider this a somewhat damning observation--but the list appears to be capital-projects focused. Which might explain a lack of reference to local bus enhancements (though not BRT).

While Metro isn't entirely clueless about operations, there may be many factors which keep ops out of its focus: most grant money (particularly from the Feds) is for capital projects, and planning agencies generally have had an unfortunate tendency to neglect things like ops and maintenance.

Robert Wightman

Jarrett. I was hoping to be facetious but perhaps I was too subtle. The reason that these people do not use professional designers is because they KNOW the OBVIOUS and don't need to WASTE money paying someone else. I just watched a documentary on Robert Moses. He was a master at knowing what people REALLY WANTED, even if they didn't.

I have a problem with these web surveys because it is so easy to push the reults one way or the other by multiple entries. A well designed poll is much better, but more costly.

JJJJ

I thought this would be about having "urgent" and "high" on one end but only "low" on the other, its not balanced.

EN57

I’m having trouble seeing the value of these sorts of surveys apart from a possible PR function to appease interest groups. A secret ballot on infrastructure priorities seems helpful, but nobody sitting at home in their pyjamas has the understanding needed to properly sort through these priorities if they have avoided hearing other people's points of view. If both the questions and results are biased, and not representative of the broader community, what possible use could these surveys have in a responsible decision making process?

It's pretty scary if decision makers need to rely on this sort of dodgy feedback to sort out important long term priorities for their cities. Have the citizens elected leaders who don't know what to do, or how to prioritize?

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the firm

Jarrett is now in ...

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