Friday, August 02, 2013

The flawed process of "Better Market Street"

Photo by Sophia Diamantidou

Bob Planthold sent the message below to the Mayor, the Supervisors, the MTA board, and members of various public advisory bodies "in the hopes somebody will read it and take positive action":

Here is the link to my 31 July Beyond Chron guest editorial.

Please read the early comments already sent in.

Feel free to post this and forward it widely.

There are more problems with Better Market Street, though, than just access problems.

Check the BMS website for the link to the BMS Citizens Advisory Committee agenda and minutes.

Violations of the Sunshine Ordinance are evident there:

* lack of minutes for all meetings; 
* lack of attendance information in the minutes, preventing the public from knowing whether a quorum was achieved and who was/wasn't reliable in attendance.

The 17 July evening meeting, held at Parc 55 hotel, was held in a room with DIM light, making it hard to read text on the information boards.

The use of statistics---to say that 85% of attendees favored this or that---is misleading for two reasons:

1] No attempt was made to weed out those who attended multiple public forums, allowing the frequent attendees to be counted and vote multiple times. 

2] Finally, the plethora of evening meetings means it lessened attendance by some from vulnerable populations---single parents, seniors, and people with disabilities. These all are people who might not easily be able to get to an evening meeting due to family responsibilities or energy limits, yet these are the very people for whom planning efforts should be most solicitous and responsive.

Allowing multiple voting and lack of attendance by vulnerable populations skews the so-called public response summary

The prudent thing to do is to START OVER.

Bob Planthold

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At 9:24 PM, Blogger Mario said...

The vote is already skewed by the fact that no public meeting has a turnout that truly represents the public. Bob Planthold and his kin like to employ the strategies they rail against, but they were not in their favor this time around, hence the criticism. But if you are honest and you have a gripe with these straw polls, it should be that straw polls do not represent anything of value.

At 4:21 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

These meetings by the city are really just a pro forma process they're required to go through to give at least the appearance of public approval. Then they do whatever they planned to do in the first place, unless they get a shit-storm of protest like on Polk Street. Then they'll modify the project.


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