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‘We can’t be greedy and we need to be careful’ using Rainbow Bridge detour

Letter to the Editor

To the Editor,

Listen, I get it: no one likes it when someone cuts line. We’re all supposed to be big boys and girls and wait our turn. But sometimes, in rare circumstances, breaking the rules makes sense.

With the Rainbow Bridge out of commission, every day a whole line of people need to go back and forth across the single-lane bridge by Bacon’s Par-3. No one wants to wait longer than necessary. A simple protocol ensures cars cross safely at a steady, slow pace. One car goes from one side. We all wait. Then a car goes from the other side. We all wait again.

It’s fair. It’s also unnecessarily slow.

Two cars can cross in barely more time than one. Three cars only take a moment more. That line of cars waiting on each side of the bridge can be cleared out in half the time. If it’s hard to wrap your head around this, imagine a construction zone. Now imagine if the person holding the stop sign only allowed a single car at a time to go through the construction zone. What a nightmare! No, they let a small group of cars go from one side, then a small group from the other side, balancing efficiency with fairness.

Now, it will require people to act in good faith. Two or three cars from each side is good - five is an imposition on the person waiting at the front of the opposite side. We can’t be greedy and we need to be careful. No one wants a head-on collision because two cars are trying to cross at the same time. Courtesy and a quick flash of the lights can handle a situation this simple.

Rules are important, absolutely. But rules are supposed to serve us, not the other way around. If you want to wait your turn and just go one at a time, no problem. But don’t be angry with drivers who choose to efficiently piggyback. If you’re at the front of the line on the opposite side, sure, you might be waiting an extra five seconds - but over the long-haul you’d more than make up the lost time if you also became a piggybacker.

If you’re number two, three or 10 in line, however, the “rulebreaker” you’re angry at just saved you time.

Eric Sparling, Fenwick

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