Once again, people around the world are transfixed by an absurd new idea from the myopic overseers of Puget Sound transportation. This time it's a plan to build a bridge out of aircraft carriers -- a bridge for carrying automobiles, of course.
You fools! You unelevated fools!
In April of this year, Two-Thousand and Fifteen of our Common Era -- fifteen years too far into what should have been our promised Future -- State Rep. Jesse Young (R-Automobilist) proposed squandering $90,000 of the transportation budget to study the feasibility of shackling together Bremerton and Port Orchard with decommissioned carriers.
The above satellite photo mock-up shows the proposed "Military Tribute" bridge anchored in the north at the interchange of State Automobile Routes 3 and 304 and lolling lackadaisically south-by-southeast across the Sinclair Inlet to Ross Point to spew motorists onto SAR 166. To fully span the roughly 3700 ft. gap would require three US Navy supercarriers (some of the desired carriers can be seen in dock at the Naval Shipyard in the upper right), although Rep. Young prefers two and his proposal allows the incorporation of as few as one. Even in their boldest steps, Automobilists travel with timidity!
Many have already criticized the folly of such a plan: its economic questionability, the unavailability of the carriers, numerous structural and environmental issues. The most fundamental flaw, however, is its pointlessness; not only does it merely perpetuate the continued Malaise of Automobility, but there is already a road between those two places!
Tellingly, the illustration being passed around the media, both social and mainstream, by automobile apologists (see: Daily Mail, et al.) is deceptively cropped to hide the end of Sinclair Inlet, giving the impression that the bridge would allow access between two otherwise unreachable points, thus serving some purpose beyond base vanity. In fact, as my uncropped illustration clearly shows, this bridge would only shave off less than 4 miles from a commute between Bremerton and Port Orchard (the bypassed route is about 4.5 miles and the bridge would be about three-quarters of a mile, including the necessary ramps to reach the deck height).
In all the talk about the impracticality of the scheme, what hasn't been much discussed is the impact this looming car-carrier would have on the area. Rep. Young claims tourism from the bridge will boost the local economy, but there's no reason tourists couldn't be allowed to simply visit the carriers while docked, much as they already can the destroyer USS Turner Joy. Is the privilege of paying a toll to drive on them for less than a minute really that much of a tourism draw?
Regardless of what meager tourist dollars the bridge may raise for the cities it imposes upon, one thing is certain: The Aircraft Carrier Bridge would bring economic ruin to Gorst!
Gorst! Listless Gorst! Haphazardly (with an emphasis on hazard) formed from the confusing confluence of automobile routes, addled motorists jockeying for lanes as they careen railless around a high-speed u-turn past Gorst's few businesses that eke an existence by pandering to the Autocracy. A bridge that would bypass Gorst -- while bringing relief from the dangerous slew of automobiles -- would take away what little economic activity came from those drivers who misjudged the trajectory and escaped orbit into some auto dealership or crash-landed into a drive-thru bikini barista.
Like an addict who uses not for pleasure but to avoid the pain of withdrawal, how could Gorst go on without its bottleneck? But could this sad state of affairs actually be an opportunity for a New Beginning? Even Automobilists think something must change at Gorst, if only someone could cut the Gorstian knot of traffic.
I have an audacious plan to do just that, one that will uplift Gorst so that not only may it stand on its own, free of the Tyranny of the Tire, but be transformed into a Beacon of Civilization in a smog-enshrouded wilderness:
We must transform Gorst into the premier Regional Monorail Hub!