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Salem's Bridge Woes

Tuesday, October 30, 2007
So what I discovered when I moved to Salem about 14 months ago is that I'm glad I don't live on the West Side. Don't get me wrong - the apartments over there tend to be newer, better appointed, and relatively cheaper. However, I would have to drive in every day (I can't spare the 45 or more minutes each way to walk) and I'd have to deal with a miserable amount of traffic during rush hour as all the west siders come to down town in the morning and leave in the evening.

View Larger Map

Apparently the idea of putting in another bridge is not new. Today, however, the Salem Statesman-Journal ran an article talking about it - and why it hasn't happened yet. (Here's a hint: The location hasn't been settled, among other problems.)

Want to hear my solution? (I'm guessing you wouldn't be here if you didn't!)

Take an idea from the highways in Seattle and build a third bridge in between the current two, connecting at each end two the other two bridges. Make the bridge traffic one-way - but switch direction depending on the hour. Basically, you're adding extra lanes when you need them, which is really what the problem is, since the traffic is fine the other times. Furthermore, since it would be a one-way bridge it would be more effectively used than a two-way bridge and would add capacity where it's currently needed the most. (Oh, and tax new development on the west side of Salem to pay for it, since that's most of what's causing the problem.)

So there you go. Am I brilliant? Yes, the rumors are true.


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