The future is worth a thousand visions–or so believes the Spokane Regional Transportation Council. SRTC is in the midst of updating its long range transportation plan and they are employing a unique strategy to engage the community for feedback. Citizens are encouraged to play an online interactive game called A Thousand Visions and SRTC hopes that at least a thousand folks play this game and submit their results.
|Cyclists pass Riverfront Park on their way to work.|
This game is a fascinating exercise in transportation planning and resource allocation. You, the player, are given a baseline transportation budget then you must decide how you will raise additional revenue to fund the projects of the future. You might choose to raise property taxes, enact a special sales tax for transit and increase the local gas tax. The game calculates how much revenue each source will raise and it tells you approximately how much the financial burden will be annually on a household.
Assuming you have survived a tax revolt, it’s time to fund the transportation projects of the future. Do you build new roads and complete the North Spokane corridor? Do you invest in a new high performance transit system for the region? Do you complete the Fish Lake Trail and fund the regional bicycle and pedestrian network? You learn how much it costs to fund a project and the game calculates whether or not you have raised enough revenue to fund your projects. You will most likely find yourself forced to scale back projects or drop them completely.
A Thousand Visions is available to play until November 29. If you live in the Spokane region, please play the game and submit your vision results. If you live elsewhere, you can still play the game without submitting your results. It’s a thoughtful exercise in transportation planning and funding.