Byways 101

Part 3: Public & Community Involvement

What Is A Byway Vision Statement?

A vision statement defines where you’re ultimately trying to go…so you’ll know, in the future, whether you’ve arrived or not. The vision statement captures the destination of your planning and implementation process, and provides your byway stakeholders with an inspiring glimpse of where you are trying to lead them. To motivate others, the vision statement must be clear and compelling, creative yet realistic, and, most important, connected to the desired future for the community. Vision statements will be different for every byway.

Your statement of purpose acknowledged the route’s special resources and the desire to investigate the potential for a scenic byway. Since you now have a better understanding of your route’s resources, intrinsic qualities, existing conditions, and potential for tourism and economic development, it’s time to try and formulate a statement of basic philosophy that you believe can be agreed to by most people in your community. The idea is to reflect the broad and sweeping inspirations your community has for its byway. This will be your vision statement.

Writing your vision statement is the time to think big. Lay out everything that your ideal byway will accomplish for your community and the visitors. Involve others in this process; it’s a good activity to create common ground among your byway team.

Writing A Vision Statement
Your vision statement should be based on ideal yet possible circumstances, broadening your statement of purpose to better reflect the new information and perspective you’ve garnered.

Good Vision Statements:

  • Inspire; they are compelling and bold, raising your actions to a higher purpose
  • Embody your values and give your group courage to express those values to your community
  • Use vivid language, word pictures and metaphors to communicate enthusiasm and excitement
  • Reflect the byway’s unique and special character
  • Verbalize the byway organization’s highest aspirations
  • Conjure a similar picture for each group member of the destination of the group’s work together
  • Come from the heart
  • Describe a desired future

Some Vision-Writing Tips

1. Ask “What If?”
Keep the statement general and even a little grand – it should inspire. Think into the future and imagine what the byway could be like and what it could do for the community and region. Ask “what if” questions. What if the byway attracts more people? What if more land is developed along the byway? What if the landscape is managed so as to provide exceptional scenic vistas for future generations?

2. Communicate A Single Vision
While initially people may come to the table having somewhat different ideas of what the byway could accomplish, with some work, the group should be able to reach consensus on a byway vision.

3. Consider All Influential Factors
Address all of the factors that will likely influence your route. This is where it is important to bring all potentially interested and affected parties to the table so that the broad implications of scenic byway designation can be considered.

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