It’s a good thing the bridge fell down.

Sometimes and somedays I need to force myself to be positive. Other days it comes easily. The hassle of living in a neighborhood where the 35W bridge fell down isn’t pleasant. I realize that people are coming here to mourn. But most people that live here just want the voyuers to go home. We want people to stop being arrested for taking pictures. Yup. That’s right. A friend spent 24 hours downtown Mpls. being held because he took pictures of the bridge. Why? Some hint of something like a “federal crime scene” and therefore you cannot take pictures. Not that this was mentioned in any news reports, not that it happened to be a picture the guy took from his own apartment balcony, nope, that didn’t matter. 24 hours of his time wasted.

So the frustration around here is pretty high. I’m trying to see what positive things could come about from this disaster. The first that comes to mind is that locally we will have far less particulate matter air pollution which has been proven to trigger asthma attacks and heart attacks at higher levels. So our local neighborhood health will improve for the next two years while they re-build.

The next positive is that MetroTransit is providing more buses and free bus rides for a period of time from the northern suburbs. This might lead to a long-term beahvior change for people who commuted from the northern suburbs into downtown. If they ride the bus for a year or two and then try driving when the bridge opens they’ll have had a taste of how nice it is to read a book, the paper, listen to an audiobook on their mp3 player or even, egads that I mention it, have a conversation with the people next to them on the bus. Maybe, just maybe, this will result in a positive change to our mental health, positive behavior change, positive environmental change.

The last positive I can figure out is that there may be an increase in telecommuting and biking downtown for work. Both of these are healthier mentally, socially and physically. Telecommuting because you then have an extra hour or more to either spend with family and friends or to exercise. Biking because you ARE exercising.

I used to take the Segway downtown but am now biking as my volunteer work takes me a bit farther than that and I don’t need to drive to that as I’m not hauling heavy tools or anything.

So maybe, just maybe, there might be some positive things that come from the bridge falling down. Positive other than the fact that we get a new, safer bridge.

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~ by mud on August 7, 2007.

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