As a new resident, I find it quite amusing to read the almost daily comments on the bridge. While each side has a valid perspective – the design and construction seems decidedly out-of-place with the charm of the downtown area; and “get over it – it’s just a bridge” – no one has yet advanced a workable solution. How about selling naming rights to the bridge? This has proved successful on countless stadiums and arenas (the Super Bowl is in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome this Sunday), and could work here. By covering the cost of a mainly cosmetic makeover, a local (or national) business (or a civic-minded citizen) could secure permanent naming rights for the bridge, plus a nice historical plaque, fantastic publicity and the undying gratitude of the community. The winning bid would establish the budget, and the winning bidder could be active or passive in the determining what the new bridge will look like, subject, of course, to review and approval by appropriate City officials and probably a citizen committee.
We test drivers before they can get a driver’s license, why can’t we test shooters before they can buy or use guns? Drivers are issued licenses of various types (not everyone is licensed to drive a truck), and these licenses can be revoked if laws are violated. Driver testing is redone, and licenses are reissued on a scheduled basis. The same should be done with shooting licenses. The testing should be very different. Both drivers and shooters should pass written tests, and drivers should pass driving tests and shooters a shooting test. In addition to shooting tests, potential shooters should be subjected to psychological testing. We can’t let people who are “a little off” have guns.
The person who proclaims the Department of Transportation owns the Lauren Street bridge is absurd. We, the people, paid for the construction of the bridge with our tax dollars. If they used state employees to build it, then we, the people, paid their salaries. Bridges are built and maintained, not owned, by the state. For someone to suggest that the DOT can punish the citizens of Aiken for speaking out regarding the appearance of the bridge is totally ludicrous.
The bridge comments have been going on long enough. If you are driving the speed limit safely, you would not have time to study the bridge. There are other ways to go to cross the tracks. Some people seem to need to get a life; it’s just a bridge.