I attended the special Board of Aldermen meeting August 22, reluctantly, to hear what steps can be taken to mitigate the problems being caused by the drawbridge repairs. I say reluctantly because the meeting turned out to be what I expected — excuses and the use of the word “can’t.”
One saving grace that we did have this summer was a lot of rain. I can only imagine how much more of a traffic nightmare we would have had, and a lot more often, if we had had a normal summer.
I do applaud our board for doing what it has in the past to try to mitigate the problems. My only disappointment is they have accepted the excuses and “can’t.”
Too bad the citizens in the audience “can’t” take over NCDOT and the Coast Guard for just one day. Excellent, easy and common sense ideas were presented, all being met with excuses or “can’t.”
Again, I thank our board for trying to get many of these processes in place. I say the board needs to pester these agencies until they implement some or all of these common-sense steps:
Four way camera accessible via smart phone to see current conditions up and down the intracoastal and traffic east and west of the bridge — a cost, but this could be beneficial if left up permanently
Limit bridge openings to on the hour or every other hour except for barges that cannot adjust to the currents
Bicycles must walk their bikes over the bridge on the sidewalk or receive a fine
Have the bridge tender tweet to update openings and closings and traffic status
Wrightsville Beach Police need to ticket delivery trucks using the center lane on Wrightsville Avenue to park and make deliveries (this is causing very dangerous situations and more congestion)
Limit Airlie Road to a right in, right out only
Bridge Tender to alert the WB Police when traffic is anticipated to be significantly backed up (anticipated longer opening, bridge is stuck, etc.)
WB keep personnel on the west side of the bridge before back-ups occur so they can be there to help alleviate congestion more quickly (it will be off season) or continue coordination with Wilmington Police
Lastly, I think we as citizens need to email blast and pester these agencies until they get these things done — and quick.
And for our hard working board, don’t accept the excuses and “can’t.”