07 April 2008

Extremely local news: Grouchy bloggers disappointed by results of Harper Court survey

They told us to take the Internet survey on Harper Court, so we took it. And now they're scolding us for taking it wrong. I was kind of afraid this might happen, but I kept that opinion to myself because nobody ever appreciates a pessimist. Ah well.

Hyde Park Progress:
Harper Court Survey: Women Under 40 Say 'Yes' to Everything

"Who would have thought that the stodgy HPKCC would produce a survey that conformed to every frat boy's fantasy? Or the legal script being used by lawyers for Girls Gone Wild producer Joe Francis?

"Truth can be stranger than fiction, gentle reader. The results of the 'Community Priorities for Harper Court Redevelopment' survey are in and the biggest news is this: almost twice as many survey respondents were female as male. Most of them were between 19 and 39. And they said 'yes' to virtually everything.

"While this may certainly be fantasy material for the geezer types who write letters to the Herald, it also has the less arousing effect of draining the survey results of much useful meaning..."

Hyde Park Urbanist was more forgiving, but somewhat in the manner of a reassuring little pat on the head:
HPKCC Harper Court Survey Results Available

"If you click here, there's .pdf to download, all colorful & informative.

"Some 1697 people took the time to respond. Restaurants and a public space for something like a farmers' market scored big. Night-time ambiance was the most popular desire, with strengthening the pedestrian character of 53rd Street and a welcoming environment also rating highly.

"Over 63% of respondents were female and over half reported family incomes above $75K. A bare majority were under 40 years of age.

"Underperforming desires included residential space and rumor has it that Irene was glum about that. She probably shouldn't be. My guess is that folks looked at the survey as a chance to make out a wish list. Most people are either not looking to move to a new home or else figure this new housing would be out of their price range. Maybe Harper Court just isn't where they'd want to live. However, residential units may well pay for the retail space in a new Harper Court development and I don't think people necessarily oppose the inclusion of housing..."

I'm probably not the best representative of the 19-to-39-yr-old female demographic, as I once overheard a description of myself as "probably a lesbian"--pithy enough given the context, which was at a frat party. But seriously, wtf? Do you honestly want my input as a resident and member of the "community," or don't you? I know I'm a single renter and all, but look what single renters have done to Wicker Park.

For the record, I think more residential space is a fine idea and indicated so in the survey. I've been stuck in Doom with a View for three years because I always have an enormously difficult time finding an apartment in September; most everything I can afford has already been leased out to students by then. I know the powers that be are probably thinking swanky condos, but if that frees more crappy rental flats from the threat of conversion then it's fine by me.


At 10 April, 2008 21:50, Blogger chicago pop said...

With all due respect, I think you might have taken the title of our post literally, hence the "wtf". I took the survey too, and I'm not female (though I am under 40) and to the best of my recollection I said "very important" to most everything too. The point is the way the thing was built, it allows you to look at the data and make statements like that.

It's all about the survey design, not a comment on Hyde Park women. Really.

See you in the bike lanes.

At 10 April, 2008 23:17, Blogger Jennifer said...

I was more miffed at the implication that all young women are trixies who want to see more night life but less boring office space. I'd love more boring office space! I'm losing my low-paying white-collar job, and moving across town would be a real hassle without a car.

My recollection of my impression of the survey was that it seemed a little slanted in the direction of "Would senior housing and gallery space be a good idea or an excellent idea? Do you want to see more parking or lots more parking? Isn't Harper Court just dandy the way it already is?" That sort of thing. Perhaps I remember wrong, though.


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