“Just” 4 Minutes

I see it happen every day. I open my drawbridge for a vessel, and at least one car does a u-turn and reroutes itself rather than waiting. This always astounds me. The average bridge opening here in Seattle is only 4 ½ minutes. But the time you take your detour, the bridge would have closed again and you could have gone on your merry way. We as a society are too impatient. We want instant gratification.

I especially don’t understand this as each driver surely knows that he or she is crossing a drawbridge, and there’s a potential for delay. It can’t come as a surprise. Why not make the most of it? I admire those drivers who get out of their cars and take in the view. Take a moment to turn off your engines and just be.

That’s easy for me to say, I suppose. During that 4 ½ minutes, I’m rather busy, trying to insure the safety of the traveling public, and doing my best not to break one of the City of Seattle’s largest pieces of equipment. For me, the time flies.

A friend of mine recently conducted an experiment with me. She set her phone alarm for 4 minutes, and we were to sit in silence. Utter silence, for that entire time.

It was an eternity. Now I get it. Granted, if I were in a car, I’d probably be listening to NPR, so I’d barely notice. But if you’re walking, or riding a bike, or sitting alone in your car in silence, then 4 minutes can be torture.

Sorry. :/

Traffic backs up as I open my drawbridge. I try not to let this power go to my head.

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8 thoughts on ““Just” 4 Minutes

  1. Anxiety will do it for me, especially if I hit the claustrophobic stage. At that point, it doesn’t matter if it takes me longer overall, as long as I’m moving. (Not to mention that the typical backup of U-District traffic will add another couple of minutes to getting across the bridge.)

    1. All the more reason to get out of your car, breathe the air, take in the view. It does wonders for claustrophobia. You don’t really have to get back into your car and start it back up until you see the first gate go up. But either way… again… sorry.

  2. Angiportus

    I don’t mind a demo of what these bridges can do, and even when I don’t feel good and want just to be home, I forgive them. Even if, a couple years back, I had been heard to growl, “Bridge, pleeease!”
    I ride the bus, and there’s a reason books were invented…

  3. Seattle Park Lover

    There was one time a few months ago when I got held up by the Montlake Bridge for a very, very long time. Traffic was backed up so far I couldn’t even see the bridge, so I don’t even know if the bridge was open extra long or what. Then came the painful process of all that backed up traffic trying to get through the traffic lights.

    But that’s an unusual occurance. Usually if I get held up at a bridge it’s not that long. I just think of it as part of the Seattle Experience and kinda enjoy it if I’m not in a hurry.

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