We don’t need no stinkin’ Windward

A commenter on an earlier post cited a study used to justify the transit system’s expansion of train service into my neighborhood. The study was paid for by MARTA and conducted as part of the North Line Transit Oriented Study which was presented in 2006.

Part of the research was conducted through telephone surveys of nearby residents and the report states:

The telephone survey sample was selected to include residents near each of the 4 proposed TOD sites: Holcomb Bridge Road and GA 400, Haynes Bridge Road and GA 400, Old Milton Parkway and GA 400, and Windward Parkway and GA 400.

So let us take a look at the map showing the areas surveyed. You can click on the picture below to enlarge it.

Many of the dots above indicate where people work in addition to where they live but do you notice anything unusual in the top, right area of the survey map? I do because that is where I live. A tiny little neighborhood called Windward with more than 2,400 homes. Notice how not a single one of the surveys conducted was of a Windward resident? Odd isn’t it? Not one of the thousands of people interviewed lived or worked in the largest neighborhood in North Fulton county.

So what are the odds that a legitimate, random survey would completely avoid an entire geographic area that contained about 1/6th of a city’s population? It’s been a couple of decades since my statistics classes but I’d say the probability of that happening accidentally would have to be less than 1%. If any of you are well versed in probabilities and take issue with my WAG please feel free to correct me.

But regardless of the actual probability, the point is that a survey which is used to justify putting a MARTA train station in my neighborhood did not ask one single person out of the thousands most affected for their opinion. Alpharetta’s elected officials are making decisions based on a survey that completely ignored 1/6th of their constituents and that should be unacceptable whether or not it occurred by design or chance.

2 thoughts on “We don’t need no stinkin’ Windward

  1. Jimmy,
    We don’t need no stinkin’ west-sider input either. Notice that nothing west of the point where Haynes Bridge and Old Milton intersect was considered.

    You also left off the best part from the MARTA document that precedes that map. It says:

    The web‐based survey, however, was distributed in companies that were willing to assist in the research effort; therefore, neither the companies nor the employees within them were selected at random. While the results of the employee survey are not scientific as a result, they are nonetheless illuminating.

    It isn’t scientific but we’re going to build our whole plan on it anyway. The hubris! (Or the incompetence!)

  2. From another comment thread you said:

    Unfortunately the Mayor of Alpharetta and our City Council have consistently voted to support your goal of urbanization. That is why they have to go.

    Wouldn’t the normal response of any elected representative be to go right back to MARTA and tell them that, in the interest of their constituents, they can’t accept this because they have eliminated input from a vast majority of those they represent.

    It looks like they covered the Kimball Bridge area pretty well. Is that who is speaking for all of Alpharetta now? Just curious.

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