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Monday, January 18, 2010

SD-DOT Surveys South Dakotans on Transportation Needs

Holy cow! Pierre asks for your advice!

KELO reports that the South Dakota Department of Transportation is hosting an online survey to get our input on what we should set as our long-term transportation priorities in South Dakota. Expect John Goeman and Russ Olson to call all their friends and flood the server with entries from Madison saying the most important change South Dakota needs is four lanes on Highway 34 west from I-29!

The survey includes one of my favorite participatory exercises, the mock budget, where you have to divide a hundred dollars into actual categories of spending. Of course, such an exercise needs a little more context: for real participatory budgeting, folks need some idea of the current spending benchmarks before they can offer numbers that offer guidance for future spending. The survey takes comments; the survey would be even better if it published those comments and and allowed respondents to see and discuss each other's answers. (The state's web dudes should also program the "Total" field to automatically add the responses to make it easier to keep track of that $100.)

As you would expect, I went online and told them to make more room for bicyclists, walkers, horses, and other alternative transportation. I also told them to look for ways to restore the good old passenger rail system. South Dakotans used to ride trains back and forth all over the place. Commuters, think how much more productive you'd be if you could spend that hour each day sitting on a train concentrating on your laptop instead of the highway.

But hey, don't let us blog-hippies get all the votes—take the survey yourself, tell Pierre what sort of transportation we need to work on!

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