CN9634 wrote:So if I read this correctly-- the Maine State Rail Plan was just a big waste of time and tax payer money which was immediately shelved? I don't think you write a plan for the sake of writing a plan, it needs to be actionable, measurable and dynamic to the changing environment. Then again, all my career experience has been private sector, so I guess our views on business plans, or strategic visions are somewhat different (10 years is laughable you can realistically barely see anything past 3, or even 5 years).
In government planning across many policy spheres planning is typically done on a 5 - 10 year horizon due at least in part to anticipating funding cycles and changing federal and state priorities. Plans are written and then executed forward from that point. In some cases they serve as placeholder policy documents that are used to meet federal requirements. Because of the depth involved with government plans it typically is considered wasteful to rewrite them more often than every 5-10 years and that is especially true of policy areas which are not particularly dynamic.
It is not at all unusual for a government plan to have a 10 year shelf life. This is also partly because unlike the private sector government revenues and programs are typically very stable. This allows for forward thinking and prioritization that can indeed look many years out.
In transportation planning and especially it seems in the freight markets the real issue remains attempting to predict economic activity levels by sector. For example real estate this past year ... No one in their right minds ever would have predicted the kind of market we have right now. Absolutely screaming hot. Easily the best real estate market in Maine since the 1920s and maybe ever. Anyone writing a plan assuming that or year we would have had 10%+ price growth *on average* would have been laughed out the door.
So ... "no" the State Rail Plan wasn't a waste of money but it is not a "live" document the way you might think. That type of policy is likely contained in something issued internally, likely on an annual basis similar to Maine DOTs three year work plan which is adjusted each year.
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