To the editor:
Ah, the Blynman Bridge, owned and operated by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation. Has ever a public resource been more poorly managed?
In writing about this, I did some research to try and discover how the system theoretically works. Every “deviation” is available on line, but where are the fundamental “normal” rules of operation? Without knowing these, how can we residents of Gloucester analyze and make viable suggestions to improve what is now a ludicrous system. Why ludicrous?
Is it really the best system to simply allow boats to pass through at any random time? If you want to go from one part of town to the other, or travel south toward Magnolia, you have to pass over this bridge. And, if the bridge can be opened at any time, for an undetermined length of time, you are simply trapped, as so many of us have been. Literally scores of cars (and bicyclists and pedestrians) get backed up, often for 20 minutes, waiting for the bridge to go up and down. On one recent, seemingly simple trip from Gloucester to West Gloucester, I had an extra 40 minutes added to the trip -- 20 coming and 20 going.
There is a Facebook page that tells us about the status of parking lots at the beaches. How difficult would it be to have a page that posts the status of the bridge that would give motorists some warning so they might be able to avoid the snarl. Even better-and simpler-would be to have predetermined times during the day for the bridge to open and close so that people could know well in advance and make alternative plans.
And to think, on top of it all, that people are paid between $75 and $120 an hour to operate the bridge. Sheesh.