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Sunday, June 28, 2009

Bridge Rant

I like to think of myself as an intelligent individual, perhaps even one that is smarter than most, but that is most likely just a bit of ego talking there. The thing is, I abhor waste and wasting of valuable time, especially that which is mine.

Where am I going with this you probably thinking?

There is a fairly new twin bridge that has been built here just a few years ago part of a transportation flyover project to help improve traffic going to the beach and that coming from it. The problem is, the DOT only completed one side to alleviate the summer congestion that was always a bear when going to the beach; the other side didn’t receive funding from the state to even begin starting on it. With that one side not being completed with what was supposed to have a flyover from the bridge; going past 23rd street, over the train tracks and on to Michigan Ave. without having to stop for any traffic lights, does not. Which causes traffic jams with the lights, train crossing and the third lane coming off of the bridge merging with the middle lane. Now the train crossing doesn’t always cause a backup, but the light for 23rd St. does as it is not long enough and backed up to another turning lane and traffic light that goes into the port; currently the DOT is fixing this problem by making a new entrance to the port and moving the turning lane and light down one road. That should ease some of the congestion, but just if the DOT would complete the Panama City flyover, or just start it would be a nice start, that should end all of the troubles.

Unfortunately, the moving of the light has resulted in a fail for DOT with regards of easing congestion either way, the only thing it has done was provide much larger turning lanes for the semis going into the port and for those turning onto 23rd St.

Now knowing all of that useless background information, why is it that people tend to stay in the middle lane; knowing that when traffic is backed up to the flyover, that they will be sitting there putting along for most likely 15-30 minutes before they get to the other side of the bridge?

The way the traffic on the bridge flows in the afternoon going from the beach to town is the right lane moves the fastest, the middle the slowest and the left lane somewhere in the middle.

The only reason the right lane moves so fast is that lane has to merge into the middle at the end of the bridge and for that reason is why I believe some knuckle draggers try to prevent others from using the right lane by straddling both lanes or in some instances, get entirely into the right lane only to sit there next to the hole they created. The two things I see wrong with that is that one, there is about 15 plus feet of bridge that can be used to go around them and two, if the person in front of me did that, I would fill in the hole just to piss them off.

The left lane moves the second fastest is only because the middle gets backed up from all of us of higher intelligence that use the right lane to get over the bridge faster. Of course, we tend to have to deal with knuckle draggers that try to block us or try to refuse to let us merge.

I’ll just be glad when they finally get it all worked out like it is supposed to, but that probably will not happen anytime in the near future.

Watch the video during 5 o'clock traffic to see what I mean. 5 o'clock central time. http://tmc.baycountyfl.gov/#map

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