Kindred’s Kaleidoscope: Corp of Engineers Fiasco

Driving to our favorite Charlie Riedel’s Family Restaurant, my wife and I discovered right on time the opening of the lake road swing bridge that is closed during the months of November through March. One might assume that wisdom prevails among the elite of our society as afterall these educated men and women who make up the Corp of Engineers possess more commonsense than the average citizen does, especially regarding the deployment of bridges! Assumptions? That is the crux of the problem facing Americans– the progressiveness that bends the very fabric of commonsense.

As a chessplayer and largely self-taught and being interested in many varied topics down the road of life, it appears to me that suddenly my critical thought pattern began to boil and sometimes it boils over. That is when my wife worries about me because I tend to analyze and put on my commonsense hat, which by the way is a TAM, and thus begins a vocal discussion during driving that is perhaps dangerous. At least I have heard that discussions in cars might be one of the causes of minor accidents on the road let alone those crazy folks who use cell phones and do text messaging or have their lap computers on which they operate during driving. Anyway, not to leave the subject, the thought that the Irondequoit Bay and Lake Ontario are linked by this swing bridge and that it is open during an seven month period covering spring through fall so that sail boats of the rich can traverse to and from the Bay and Lake.

What is wrong with this picture? Well, one problem is that the Lake Road is a vital link for an escape route in case of threats to the city and surrounding counties. But this is not the main problem. The Corp of Engineers opened the Bay for access to and from the Lake. Politically, that smells. Why? Because the original idea was that the opening would somehow add purity to the Bay waterway.  The real reason was to afford the sailboaters a chance to make use of the Bay as well as the Lake for private or sail racing. Never mind that the small business community on the westside now had a major loss of hundreds of customers who had always frequented those businesses, most of which were hotdog stands and Seebreeze Park. Want to enjoy the rides and rollercoaster? Forget it unless you travel the long detour and cross the Bay bridge that links the major routes to the city and major industries. Durand Eastman Park has always been a popular summertime area. Despite numerous attempts through getting thousands of signatures to change the schedule, the Corp of Engineers and the powers that be simply ignore some very interesting possibilities. For example, why I ask is the bridge open already in March-April when the weather is usually still too cold for sailboat travel? A little commonsense approach here is needed. Why not alter the dates say from May 20th through September 30th? Compromise would go a long way in some relief of the turmoil and gut wrenching hatred for the bridge felt by many who primarily have always enjoyed travel on the Lake Road, many going down to Sodus Point and having the added pleasure of visiting various farm fruit and vegetable stands that dotted the Lake Road landscape during the summer and autumn where the foliage is a major attraction as well. It would restore the small business culture and increase interest in the Seebreeze route along Lake Road while fulfilling the Rochester Gas & Electric escape routes plan should any accident at the nuclear power plant require evacuation.

I know for a fact that few watercraft venture out into the Lake or enter from the Lake. This was documented by a concerned citizen who sat for a whole week to record few large crafts coming and going. Does it make sense to deprive thousands of travelers and residents from access to both sides of the bridge by less than a handful of watercraft using the outlet? And does it smack of favoritism for a few at the expense of the many who took time to register their names to lists calling for change?

Personally I think most might agree that May 20th through September 30th would offer some compromise and be beneficial to both homeowners and businesses along with those who love the water. The temperatures prior to May 20th and after October 1st are generally cooler, windy and often rainy.  The foliage is exceptional in October and those who use the Bay likewise can enjoy travel along its route and admire the beauty of the landscape and high hills that border it.

Of course I am only one person who, by the way, did add my name as well as my parents many years ago when this whole scheme first materialized. People thought that a strong showing by the citizens would repel “dumb” but I guess that progessiveness always supercedes the wisdom of good old “commonsense.”

That is my analysis as a chessplayer and game expert.

How say you?

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