Thursday, March 18, 2021

Shared Streets Critic Revealed

On Tuesday, Gossips reported that, at a special meeting of the Tourism Board the previous day, Tamar Adler told her colleagues that 323 responses to the Tourism Board's Shared Streets survey had come from the same IP address. The 323 responses were all negative, and Adler said it was the first time since moving to Hudson that she felt angry and resentful. "This is something," Adler declared, "that someone should be embarrassed and ashamed of."

It turns out, the barrage of negative responses came from a 15-year-old kid who lives on Warren Street and finds Shared Streets "noisy, messy, and confusing." Aliya Schneider reported the story this evening in the Register-Star: "Teenager tests tourism board." The young man's father is quoted in the article as saying, "It wasn't meant as a vandalistic kind of thing to do, it was meant as a response to their (the board's) behavior, which has been been somewhat manipulative."

On Monday, Alderman Calvin Lewis, who chairs the Tourism Board, said the results of the survey, sans the 323 negative responses that had come from the same IP address, would be posted on the City of Hudson website within 48 hours. So far, that hasn't happened.


  1. The children are our future. Ha. This reminds me of all of the teenagers who reserved tickets online for Trump’s rally in Tulsa last year and never showed up, a MAJOR embarrassment. I got the survey in my mailbox but I didn’t want to respond, I’m sure I’m not alone. I thought that Shared Streets was a failure but I know that many businesses were desperate last year, I didn’t want to be mean. This story shows how utterly pointless such a survey is. It’s like when your friend who is in a band is in a contest with their video on Facebook and they tell you that you need to go to the site and vote for their video, and convince all of your friends to vote, and tell them all to share it! Share it! We can win! Please. Utterly pointless.

  2. I want to shake the teenagers hand for his drive in answering back P.S and the Tourist board for bullying the public into shared streets with their intersection barricades. The next step they will take is rows of barbed wire.Rolling our a pine box is not the way to go. Again this is an example of the thinking in City Government. K$ 30, for a manager.W H T. How about spending that amount in a bus service to bring the Tourists to their weekend abode so they don't trip while they transverse the sidewalks. I am sure they would appreciate it a lot more than a shared thoroughfare.

  3. The Tourism Board has had a few situations where they have been less than complimentary of the resident of Hudson. Last summer, when providing monies to artists, some of the comments made about artist’s work, where totally rude and dismissive – the board isn’t an art critic (thankfully as they dissed some really interesting pieces last year). They are there to find ways to invest in local programming with the goal of Tourism, whether local or visitor.
    “The 323 responses were all negative, and Adler said it was the first time since moving to Hudson that she felt angry and resentful. "This is something," Adler declared, "that someone should be embarrassed and ashamed of."
    The only person, in this case, that should be embarrassed and ashamed is Ms. Adler herself. Walking back her comments that wouldn’t have made it public if she knew it was a 15-year-old, is irrelevant. Adler owned the survey the moment she made those comments and she and the board own the fact that they didn’t do enough research to find a program, outside of google sheets that would block IP addresses. Of course, there are ways around it but it could have been tighter in responses.
    The only person who was the adult in this situation was the 15-year-old who came forward and admitted to this. I only hope that the Tourism Board apologizes to him, publicly, in the next meeting and to the residents of Hudson, as it is apparently from the story, Ms. Adler thought this was someone else she was targeting with her comments. It’s still America folks, and people’s freedom of speech is still protected.
    The Tourism Board could be less the “high school mean kid cool clique” and be more respectful of the City it represents. I am personally tired of elected and appointed officials and their social media opinions – nationally, statewide and locally.
    Being in public office is an honor to represent those who put you there. Enough of being the news story – focus on your policy and goals and let your accomplishments be the news.
    And I personally think Shared Streets was great last year; it probably saved a lot more businesses and jobs than we will ever know. I look forward to the City rolling something out like this again this year. I disagree with Mr. Holst’s comments above – but that’s ok, we can disagree and not like someone else’s opinion and we can argue about it from our personal perspective and need, and I don't have to personal attack him to do it. And, we aren’t in office or on an appointed board, either.

    1. Thank you Rob Bujan. I regret using the word “failure”, that was harsh. I’m sorry. Your posts are always enlightening and smart, I voted for you twice and I hope to be able to vote for you again.

  4. A childishly transparent request for endorsement disguised as an over-simplified questionnaire to serve as a proxy for public participation elicited a child's response. Anyone else not surprised?

  5. I'd like to first say that I think Shared Streets last year was a solid effort to help businesses in a time when there was little certainty about protocols or restrictions, very little ramp-up time, and very mediocre support from local officials. I would not copy and paste the 2020 effort onto the 2021 landscape, but it provided some valuable insights and opportunities to examine our relationship to the street.
    I will also add that surveys can be an invaluable tool for gathering data to further development of any project, providing insight into respondent needs, testing assumptions about existing or proposed solutions, and often inspiring entirely new strategies to solve problems. Hooray for data!
    Having said that-
    1-The resident survey was a poorly written afterthought with no deeply probing questions (we can set that aside for a moment because there are other disqualifying issues.)
    2- The structure of the survey itself provided no controls to confirm the veracity of responses. Certainly the replication of responses from a single IP address was easy enough to find, but how does the Tourism Board know someone didn't send out a link to 20 of their friends to chime in with responses from different IP addresses? It doesn't, and this was either a total lack of forethought, which is not encouraging by itself, or a design to stack the deck to create a misleading narrative, which would not be surprising given the low level of integrity we've seen from members of the Board.
    3- The distribution of the survey seems incredibly skewed. Pressed on details, Kate Treacy didn't even list the 5th Ward as a canvassed area until I pressed her, and then she did so with a less-than-confidence-inspiring response. The Board said they published the survey on their Instagram account, but that account only has 240 followers, many of whom look like institutions who provided courtesy follows. If Carole had not made a post because someone dropped a leaflet in her mailbox, many of us wouldn't even have known the survey existed. As they say- garbage in, garbage out. This survey is useless.
    4- The Tourism Board's effort to create a resolution for a project manager with nothing in the way of a meaningful job description and no structure to the design of whatever Open Streets might morph into belies the intentions of their efforts; to sustain a patronage machine for their political allies. (Side note of interest-the Chair of the Hudson City Dems is presenting this resolution to the Common Council, overwhelmingly Dems, right before primary season and endorsements from the Committee, but hey no pressure. Nothing to see here, folks!)
    There was apparently a meeting of stakeholders for the project on Thursday to discuss Open Streets and the project manager. Were any local businesses or affected residents included as stakeholders? How were they selected? Why was this not a published meeting?
    I'm sure we'll have the opportunity to discuss all these issues at Monday's special meeting of the Common Council, when local residents and business owners, having seen the survey data and the rewritten resolution, will be invited to speak before the Council before a vote is considered.