The recent survey by the Terrace Downtown Improvement Area (TDIA) shows us both the benefits and limitations of this kind of study.
On one hand, it isolated certain aspects of Terrace which need improvement in the eyes of the 133 participants, garnering well-written, thoughtful suggestions.
On the other hand, the statistical analysis of the comments ended up sounding somewhat dated, as if the general problems noted were a reiteration of past woe, a list of gripes that are already well on their way to being solved.
Consider the successful rehabilitation of walls made ugly by bad graffiti over the summer accomplished by TDIA itself, and the addition of beautiful pieces of public art, including the tree mural by Sidewalkers on Lazelle Ave. and the anonymously painted murals under the old and new bridges.
The top survey complaints of public drunkenness and theft from parked cars does square with recent police reports, however, we shouldn’t forget efforts to change this, including the capture of thieves this summer and the overall drop in crime compared to the previous several years.
Or the tireless – and at times thankless – work of soup kitchens, shelters, and community support services to give people a hand up off the street.
The survey did ask participants for the positives and those are what we should take with us into winter.