By Katie Nelson Rodolico
We’ve heard that the “majority” are against the Regents Road Bridge. This may be because the majority has elected two City Council members in a row who had stated anti-bridge positions or because the majority of the UC Planning Group members are against the bridge.
There has, however, been some recent polling done using Facebook and NextDoor as polling platforms. Every poll we’ve seen favors the bridge. There have also been vigorous arguments as to how “unscientific” these poll results are. Who cares?
Since there have not been any professional polls done we will look at social media polls and other sources. These social media polls are remarkably consistent in favor of building the Regents Road Bridge.
Here are some examples.
Here’s a snapshot of a Facebook group poll from “You Know You are from University City”, May 25, 2016. 63 votes for the bridge; 34 votes against the bridge; 3 votes “Not in my backyard”
There have been a number of polls on Nextdoor.com. Here’s a rundown on the polls I’ve seen starting with…
September 16, 2017, 486 votes, 66% for the bridge
September 22, 2017.
This poll had illogical/mutually exclusive choices in an attempt to divide the pro bridge vote. You could only choose one item from a list of 7 items even though a couple of these items could be done as part of a combination of traffic mitigation projects. This didn’t seem to fool the pro bridge crowd…61% pro bridge.
Here’s another attempt to present a list of 9 options in an apparent effort to dilute the responses from bridge supporters. Mark Salata’s poll still resulted in 61% supporting the bridge. Actually, 11% of the respondents indicated that they were interested in a combination of these items. We’ll assume that means that these folks want the bridge and one or more of the other ideas. That really means that 72% of the respondents favor the bridge.
November 5, 2016
Then there was the choice offered when the final EIR was issued.
October 25, 2016, 80% pro bridge when compared to the “grade separation” option (the “Genesee Tunnel,” as it is referred to in this poll).
And before the EIR process started there was a poll posted by one of the Nextdoor.com lead to get a feel for the issue. 66% in favor of the bridge.
August 30, 2015
Because these polls tend to show widespread majority support for the Regents Road Bridge project the anti-bridge crowd likes to point out that these polls are not “scientific.” They may not meet someone’s definition of scientific polling, but they are remarkably consistent in reflecting pro-bridge support. I believe that these polls are reflective of the community and consistently show a majority of the community wants the bridge.
Fewer pro-bridge people speak out about it on venues like Nextdoor.com because they are quickly shouted down, insulted, and harangued by five or six regulars who like to pontificate about how awful the bridge will be. These regulars try to overwhelm any thread that brings up the bridge. By posting many posts in a thread – sometimes 3-4 at a time – they try to give the impression that the majority is against the bridge… but the anonymous responses to these polls show otherwise.
Katie Nelson Rodolico