Our region is big on visioning.

Well-meaning civic and business leaders join together on a regular basis to develop a consensus on a vision directing Northern Kentucky and Greater Cincinnati’s future. These meetings condense a large amount of economic and social information into an understandable, 10-slide PowerPoint presentation and result in wordy reports and an artist’s rendering of people driving around golden streets in futuristic George Jetson-like space cars.

Coincidentally, visioning meetings are usually held at the same time the marketplace is actually deciding our future. But, I digress.

I support visioning, but I am often amused at the results. Cincinnati’s leaders once had a dream that their downtown business district should become totally connected by skywalks. The vision was to be completed (and I’m not making this up) the very same year Cincinnati tore down the skywalks.

The website myNKY.org is currently inviting anyone with an internet connection to participate in an ongoing visioning process that originally began sometime just before William Goebel was shot. It asks all residents to get involved in deciding our future.

Recently I went to myNKY.org to suggest a mega-project that all of Northern Kentucky could support—a Boone to Kenton to Campbell people tunnel.

According to a recent Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments study, Northern Kentuckians do not travel for leisure more than 17 blocks from where they grew up (unless it involves a high school football playoff game). And I was shocked to find that automobiles sold in Boone County are equipped with a GPS device that shuts down the engine when the vehicle comes within 115 yards of the Licking River. My vision for an intra-county people tunnel would address all of the economic and social issues that have separated us as a region for far too long.

The NKY People Tunnel would originate at the Florence Mall. A moving sidewalk would take travelers to the places most utilized for inter-county travel with stops at the Greyhound Grill, the Ludlow-Bromley Yacht Club, Dixie Chili on Monmouth Street in Newport and the Knotty Pine on the Bayou. In order to be fair to other businesses, shuttle buses would be provided to take tunnel users to Skyline and Gold Star.

Of course, no project of this magnitude can become reality without an honest discussion of costs. Tolls must be utilized. In order to pay for the tunnel, each time someone mentions the word “tolls,” they will be required to place a dollar in a jar. Much like the family “curse jar,” money will start to build immediately. Covington City Commissioner Steve Frank will probably end up paying for the first couple of miles by himself.

And while we’re thinking big, let’s blow up the Brent Spence Bridge and move the Anderson Ferry up river to replace it. I mean, who hasn’t driven down State Route 8 and waited an hour or so to take a leisurely ride across the Ohio River on the Anderson Ferry? Traffic backup will be an issue, but no one is angry after a trip across the river on the Anderson Ferry.

Rick Robinson is a Ft. Mitchell lawyer, author and politician. His books are available at amazon.com.