Friday, June 1, 2007

A1: "Phone survey shows 78-percent support for photo radar in PV"

PV paid a company to call 300 residents to ask about a few issues, then sent a press release to the Courier. Ken Hedler did ask a good question that I noticed at the end -- whether the company weighted the data -- but the rest of this is plain stenography.

Here's the actual story: PV paid a company to call 300 residents and not weight the data, which ensured a result that favors the opinions of retirees and stay-at-homes, who tend to be more fearful, knowing that this would favor the town's position on the issues, and it could then write up a press release that the Courier would dutifully print.

Because the story is engineered to reflect only PV's official line, it amounts to disinformation. Maybe most PV residents really do support photo radar, but by jacking the table the town and the Courier are preventing us from learning the truth.


Anonymous said...

An important difference. Who in the hell cares about photo radar except a money-hungry municipality?

Steven Ayres said...

I understand the point, but I don't think it holds up. If the town were in it for the money, it'd have negotiated a better cut of the take. Instead, it's grateful to be taken.

The town planners, lacking any special vision, chose to build conventional intersections when there was nothing out in that direction, and now they're dealing with too-fast growth and the related carnage. Given the normal ration of imagination awarded bureaucracies, the result is a predictable dog's breakfast, and I imagine the Redflex system looked like an easy fix. To its credit, the numbers say it's working.

Rather than complain that we've reached this pass, I think we can take a quick, simple lesson in why it's important to be very careful about growth and aim high for the future. Every easy decision breeds a snake's nest of unintended consequences.