This process of deception, witnessed in Louisville’s OH River Bridges Project, is repeated nationwide every year.
(Source: Strong Towns) “The standard approach for engineering projects is well-established. A team of technical experts determines that a project needs to happen. They get whatever authorization they need to move forward in evaluating options. They put together options, most frequently three of them. The first is the “do nothing” approach, the hated status quo that most everyone agrees is intolerable. The second is some lavish, over-the-top approach that seems ridiculous. And the third approach is the baby bear; not too big and not too small, in contrast with the others it will seem to be just right.
This is all part of a sales job, including the anchoring effect of juxtapositioning the professional’s preferred alternative between two unappealing options. I have called these “dumb, dumber, and dumbest” on occasion. Engineers and project planners use the public comment process to go through engagement theater and simulate that they actually care about the feedback they are receiving, earnestly considering it instead of what they are really doing: working through the process to overcome opposition so they can move on to the building phase of the project (because that is the favorite phase).”