Monday, March 22, 2021

What They Said

The results of the online survey put out a couple of weekends ago by the Tourism Board to gather information for Shared Streets 2021 are now available. (This is the survey that got so much attention after the fact because hundreds of responses had come from the same IP address.) The results were published on the City of Hudson website this morning. You can find the results for both residents and businesses here.

This morning, too, Peter Spear sent Gossips the results in a much easier to grasp format. I share the results as presented by Spear below.


There were a total of 259 responses to the survey from residents, which includes only one of the 323 responses submitted by one 15-year-old.


A total of 70 business owners responded to the survey.


  1. This is just complete bullshit. “Would you like to see Warren Street open to pedestrians only traffic (except for emergency vehicles, pickup/deliveries, and residents?). OMG. So in other words, would you like to see Warren Street closed to everyone, except for ALL OF THE PEOPLE THAT IT WIL BE OPEN TO?!). What a traffic nightmare.

    1. It's certainly a loaded question, and doesn't seem to invite much in the way of nuance from the respondent, but then this survey was always about a sloppy sales pitch and never seemed to care about gathering actual data. Garbage in, garbage out.

    2. Holst, Can you help me understand the problem you have with this question?

    3. John, I respectfully disagree. It’s not loaded - it’s direct.

      The objective of this survey was simple: measure interest in the two distinct components of the Shared Streets program: 1. The permit process to allow businesses to expand into the streetspace and 2. The traffic calming measure to make Warren Street safe for physical distancing.

      This is the third survey we have done to measure community support for opening Warren Street to pedestrians and cyclists.

      (There was a survey done by the Shared Streets Advisory Committee, but they never released the results. I guess they didn’t like what they learned!)

      Every time, the results demonstrate broad support among businesses and residents for making Warren Street more focused on people, and less focused on cars.

      Second, the opportunity for nuance happened in the evaluation survey last November, which gathered a couple hundred open-ended comments and suggestions, which I reviewed and distilled into the report. If you would like a copy, email me at

    4. The question “Would you like to see Warren Street open to pedestrians only traffic (except for emergency vehicles, pickup/deliveries, and residents?)" is incongruous with the answer options, which speak to frequency. The question itself gauges sentiment and should have been phrased differently. Presenting the wrong answer ties sentiment (with a lot of variables) to frequency and muddles the data point.

    5. I forgot to highlight the fact that what I found most amazing (and encouraging) about the question was that it invited people to say that they never wanted this to happen. And still there were more in favor of some new experiences of our streetspace.

    6. I think you get the mechanics of the questions exactly right, John. We just differ in the conclusion. I think it’s an effective way of eliciting a reaction to proposed changes to the traffic on Warren Street. And it’s results are consistent with the previous surveys.

      More interesting than the question, is the implications of the answers, where I think we agree.

      There is an appetite for Hudson to think creatively about streetspace not only to make the city more walkable - but to see it as public space that can bring the community together.

    7. I'm not being coy but only befuddled when I ask how to interpret the results for the pedestrians-only question?

      First, whether its business owners or residents, it's kind of amazing that their respective answers track the same.

      As for that data itself, almost the same number of people answered "never" as those who'd like to see Warren Street be all pedestrian "every weekend."

      That could easily lead you to believe there'd be substantial support for one of the less frequent options, except that a lot more people answered either "never" or "every weekend."

      I wonder how others interpret this?

      Is our societal bipolarity more pervasive and subtle than we realize?

  2. Driving 5 miles an hour is almost physically impossible. I threw things at my radio last year when I heard people from Shared Streets on my NPR station talking about 5 miles an hour. STOP LYING!!!!

  3. After driving the first automobile he owned, Henri Matisse said that when traveling faster that 5 MPH you "lose a sense of the trees."

    In imitation of the master, I've attempted maintaining this exact speed in my car many, many times. I have to agree with Holst, it's almost physically impossible.