Niagara Gazette

Opinion

August 24, 2013

LETTERS FROM THE ISLAND: Traffic troubles at the bridge

Niagara Gazette — Dear Mainland Traffic Hazards — The later it gets in the afternoon over here, the more we’re living the Eagles’ “Hotel California” — “You can check out, but you can never leave.” Had President Obama begun his tour here, Syracuse would still be waiting. Seniors sit in the Three Stooges Roundabout (under repair, for the record), tapping their apps as the Society Security deposits accumulate.

The big deal is the corduroy surface of the southbound South Bridge, also under repair, but supposedly only at night. As it is, traffic moves better when it’s closed than when it’s not.

To paraphrase another ‘70s verse, “They’re paving our bridge, and now it’s a parking lot.” Why is there never a Big Yellow Taxi when you need one?

Here’s what happens. When the crews sign off about 6 a.m., they leave the surface of the bridge leading off the Island rather bumpy — undulating, one of Doug’s favorite words, if only for the way it sounds. Mainland-bound motorists are directed to reduce speed to 45 mph.

Flustered by three speed-limit changes over the previous seven miles (65-55-65), drivers inexplicably snap to attention. The I-190 glows brake-pedal red. Mid-day traffic bounces along decently, but along about 3 p.m. volume starts to ramp up, no pun intended.

Traffic engineers preach that congestion is caused not by slow speeds, but by inconsistence, and soon southbound cars and trucks are lining up halfway “beyond Whitehaven,” which is to us as “The Big Blue Water Tower” is to Amherst. A Canadian chap we met in Niagara-on-the-Lake this week said that last Friday he was “blind-sided” by the backup and almost missed first pitch at the Bison game.

Their problem becomes our problem when Islanders, or Mainlanders who work here, head out southbound. Two tributaries feed the flow of the I-190 at the bridge, one from the parkway to Beaver Island and one down Grand Island Boulevard, the latter funneling through our Circle of Confusion.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
  • NIA Glynn, Don mug GLYNN: New York still delays decision on hydrofracking Many people across the state remain puzzled why the decision to allow hydrofracking has been delayed for so long.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Bradberry, Bill mug BRADBERRY: To every thing there is a season; this is OURS I'm not sure what The Byrds had in mind way back in 1965 when they popularized Pete Seeger's 1950s rendition of Ecclesiastes 3, but I am inclined to agree with novelist Thomas Wolfe who wrote: "[O]f all I have ever seen or learned, that book seems to me the noblest, the wisest, and the most powerful expression of man's life upon this earth."

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Confer, Bob Mug CONFER: Property rights and the Clean Water Act The United States of America was founded on the premise of natural rights, succinctly dictated as the unalienable rights of "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Higgs, Norma mug HIGGS: St. Peter's Episcopal Church, inside and out When I had a couple of questions I checked in with Whitney Mallam, a long-time church member who introduced me to Solon Myron Napoleon Whitney (commonly known as "The Major"), one of his relatives from the early days of this church's history. I was intrigued by some of Whit's comments and hope to learn more about him in the future.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Glynn, Don mug GLYNN: Seneca Niagara Casino in billionaire category One of the Niagara area's biggest businesses is now part of the billionaire class.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • SINGER: Bridging the ideological gap Being both liberal and conservative, as currently designated, makes one perhaps sound wishy-washy; but one can't go down the line on everything.

    April 20, 2014

  • NIA Smith, Doug and Polly LETTERS FROM THE ISLAND: Home alone on the Island Yeah, you know who I mean. Hard to start this project without you but deadline looms and you're still bein' Nana, the role you were born to play. I know, I know, if you'd known grandchildren were this much fun, you'd have had them first.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Hamilton, Ken mug HAMILTON: The Bills stadium and the proverbs We are what we are because of the way that we think, and we got the nothingness that have as a result of it.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • GUEST VIEW: A closer look at Spirit Airline's DOT numbers This last week, there were articles published highlighting that Spirit Airlines has the highest DOT customer complaint rate among US airlines.

    April 18, 2014

  • NIA DeLuca, Michele mug DELUCA: Say it ain't so, Joe I had just parked my car in front of the Gazette offices on Niagara Street last week Thursday when a man approached me and stood by my door.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
House Ads
AP Video
SKorea Ferry Toll Hits 156, Search Gets Tougher Video Shows Possible Syrian Gas Attack Cubs Superfans Celebrate Wrigley's 100th Raw: Cattle Truck Overturns in Texas Admirers Flock to Dole During Kansas Homecoming Raw: Erupting Volcanoes in Guatemala and Peru Alibaba IPO Could Be Largest Ever for Tech Firm FBI Joining Probe of Suburban NY 'Swatting' Call U.S. Paratroopers in Poland, Amid Ukraine Crisis US Reviews Clemency for Certain Inmates Raw: Violence Erupts in Rio Near Olympic Venue Raw: Deadly Bombing in Egypt Raw: What's Inside a Commercial Jet Wheel Well Raw: Obama Arrives in Japan for State Visit Raw: Anti-Obama Activists Fight Manila Police Motels Near Disney Fighting Homeless Problem Michigan Man Sees Thanks to 'bionic Eye' S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers
Opinion
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page