Spokane’s Potemkin Village Marketing Program

Years ago some one told me the Spokane Visitors Bureau put together a special map to avoid showing key visitors the run down appearance of much of Spokane. I thought he was joking.

He wasn’t joking – the map is for real and it’s called “Spokane City Drive“. The map weaves a path around the problems, potholes and empty buildings:

“We’re really concentrating, though, on how we pick the routes that we take them,” Kilday said. “Because there are days that traffic or construction or potholes all play a part into what we’re showing a meeting planner.”

Spokane develops strategy to sell itself to big conventions | KREM.com Spokane.

In the future they will show off the heated pedestrian/bike bridge as the centerpiece of Spokane’s economic prosperity and city of the future!

Because the link to the VisitSpokane’s City Drive map sure as hell goes no where (its’a dead link – ain’t our marketing grand?)

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2 Responses to Spokane’s Potemkin Village Marketing Program

  1. Brandon Rapez-Betty says:

    I’m curious why you are so focused on the bridge being heated all of a sudden? You said you agree with the bike/ped bridge, but you then criticized that it would be closed six months out of the year. So when I told you that by using sustainable design principles, the bridge will be engineered to capture radiant heat from existing electrical conduit for the lighting, you tried to make it seem like that was a lavish and unnecessary added expense. The point is that regardless of the design of the bridge, whether it was a utilitarian design or something more notable, heating the deck would be necessary for year round access. Do you want it to be closed during the winter months? Or should we ensure year round access? My guess is that if you agree with bike/ped infrastructure, and you agree with sustainable design, and if you agree with year round access, the heating of the deck shouldn’t be a point of contention for you. I’m struggling to understand why you are so frustrated and negative about this project when you aren’t as informed as you could be about many of the factors that drove the design concepts during the year-long Type, Size & Location Study. I would enjoy having coffee or a beer and discussing the reasoning behind many of the valid points you bring up.

  2. inlandnw says:

    Do you get the satire about building a $16m heated ped/bike bridge and the absurdity of the Spokesman-Review arguing that without the $16m ped/bike bridge, an entire $350 biomedical industry won’t happen?

    When a proponent puts forth an absurd and silly argument, the only way to respond is with biting satire. If a $350m biomedical industry rests entirely on a ped/bike bridge, then we are lost. And then there is the “unique in the world” claim – which requires everyone to squint really hard and sorta kinda see an arch that’s a little different, perhaps.

    From the comments to local news stories, many are surprised by the transition from an $8m sales pitch to a $16m ped/bike bridge. Proponents need to explain why the public was sold an $8m ped/bike bridge during the early sales pitch – but then repriced at $16m which is indeed on par with 4 lane auto bridges of similar size.

    Regarding the heated bridge, I wonder what we will do about the roads and approaches to the bridge during the winter. We may find the bridge is the only thing passable! Snow plowing creates large berms along roadways and covering sidewalks (and bike lanes) rendering travel difficult or impossible, certainly by bike but also by foot. The snow plow situation in Spokane is a different situation, but is related. As I noted in a past post (lookup “snow”), numerous cities aim to have all roads cleared in 24 hours – and many use snow plows with “gates” to avoid building huge berms across driveways.

    I have biked on snow covered roads but gave it up for safety reasons. At least the bridge will be walkable.

    (By the way, do you have influence with VisitSpokane to see if they could fix their broken link?)

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