I received in the mail this week the official Participant Guidebook for the Realty Check Tampa Bay exercise I am participating in next Friday the Tampa Convention Center.
The guide book is a step by step how to for the event with a great deal of background information on the exercise as well as Tampa Bay’s growth projections as compared to other cities.
The exercise will basically produce Lego enhanced zoning maps that show the Tampa Bay region’s future population and job distribution as decided by the team of 8-10 people assembled at each table.
The teams will use red Lego’s (commercial) and yellow Lego’s (residential) to “build out” the Tampa Bay region. The height of the stacks of Lego’s will designate the density of any one square mile on the map.
Interestingly Reality Check’s exercise occurring just after the State Legislature’s creation of the Tampa Bay Area Regional Transportation Authority.
Ironically though Tampa Bay was defined differently by the two with Reality Check leaving out Citrus and including Polk counties while TBARTA included Citrus County with Polk County voluntarily opting out of the group.
Part of the Reality Check exercise is to designate new and/or improved transit and roadway corridors through the region which means the map does not equally match what the new authority will be overseeing.
Personally I don’t think it will be much of an issue though. In all reality considering the proximity to Orlando and Tampa Bay the post likely plan for Polk County will be to build whatever future required link between the two metropolitans is needed, (most likely in the I-4 corridor).
The variable will be in weather or not Tampa Bay and Orlando build systems that can be linked… i.e. we build light rail they build tri-rail.