There’s ever-so-much time for minds to wander while crawling toward the Mid-Bay Bridge on a Saturday afternoon. Like what Grandma used to say:
“Never put the mice in charge of the cheese.”
Nobody looked at it that way, but that’s exactly what we did at the Mid-Bay Bridge. In the unimpeachable name of “public-private partnership” we put the mice in charge. Unlike Grandma, some substitute “rats” for “mice.” But rats are nasty things. Nobody would put them in charge. On the other hand, mice are cute little critters.
When you hear “cute little critter,” think Mid-Bay Bridge Authority. Think back to the ’90s, private money rushed in to build this much-needed bridge. “Profit motive” (a fine American term) saved the day. And what a money machine this bridge has become!
Hats off to Kelly Windes, Okaloosa County commissioner, who seeks to host a public meeting about the bridge’s traffic nightmare. He will invite representatives from the Department of Transportation (who answer to folks we voted for) as well as representatives from the Mid-Bay Bridge Authority (whom none of us voted for).
Three things are obvious (while hoping I’m wrong):
1. A solution to the awful traffic snarl is urgent.
2. The solution is obvious but expensive; and,
3. The obvious solution, of course, is to replace bridge toll booths with license-plate cameras. But that would be expensive. Oh, and the third thing – “The mice are guarding the cheese.”
Don Schroeder, Destin