One of Salem's city councilors, Warren Bednarz, needs some help. Let's give it to him! I love to be helpful. Don't you?
He's lost the Mile-Long Rush Hour Downtown Bridge Backup that he assured the Mayor, other city councilors, and attendees at a recent city council work session was regularly happening because Salem doesn't have an unneeded, unwanted, and unpaid-for half-billion dollar Third Bridge.
The No 3rd Bridge folks were the first to point out the lost Mile-Long Rush Hour Downtown Bridge Backup on their Facebook page.
COUNCILOR BEDNARZ USES THE BIG LIE
At the City Council Work Session on Monday night those of us in the audience were stunned to hear Councilor Bednarz tell his colleagues that traffic was regularly backing up "for a mile" downtown at rush hour because we don't have a 3rd Bridge.
We've heard this before. It's the party line of the Salem Area Chamber of Commerce and their front organization the Third Bridge Alliance. It's a great example of the "Big Lie" that was invented as a propaganda technique by the Nazis in WWII. Hitler himself first used the phrase in his book Mein Kampf. Joseph Goebbels said "when one lies, one should lie big and stick to it." That's what we are hearing from Bednarz and the Chamber.
As we have reported here many times before, the counters on the Marion and Center Street bridges, that don't lie, have recorded Average Daily Traffic counts that have basically been flat for a decade or more.
More evidence can be gathered from the real time traffic cameras that the City has now deployed at the end of both the Marion and Center Street Bridges and on Commercial as it enters downtown from both the north and the south. There is also a camera at Wallace and Edgewater. Below are three photos taken yesterday: at about 5 pm on Marion Street and this morning at about 8 am on Center Street and Commercial St. S. heading into downtown.
Do you see any mile long backups?
I looked at this photo, and the others shown on the Facebook post. I couldn't see any mile-long backups either. So I emailed Bednarz yesterday morning, citing the "Councilor Bednarz Uses the Big Lie" post and saying:
Councilor Bednarz, the No 3rd Bridge folks have called you out on a “Big Lie” that you reportedly stated at the recent city council work session.
As of press time (geez, I love that phrase; it makes me sound kind of like a real journalist; of course, what I mean by it is that I'm about to drink a glass of red wine in my nightly hot bath, and I want to press "publish" first), I haven't heard back from Councilor Bednarz.
I sent him another email today, figuring that he might have been busy looking for the Mile-Long Rush Hour Downtown Bridge Backup and didn't notice my first message.
Like I told Bednarz, at first it seemed to me that either he was wrong about the mile-long backups and just said this in a desperate attempt to bolster the very shaky case for the City of Salem spending lots of taxpayer money to press ahead with Third Bridge planning, or he was right and has evidence proving that Mile-Long Rush Hour Downtown Bridge Backups occur regularly.
But after some further pondering, I think we need to consider other possibilities. Here's some ideas that I've come up with. If anyone has additional ones, feel free to leave them in a comment on this post. Remember...
We need to help Councilor Bednarz find his Mile-Long Rush Hour Downtown Bridge Backups!
(1) Bednarz could be having some sort of weird flashbacks produced by an unknown cause that's making him see mile-long backups that aren't really there (psychedelics? prior living in Los Angeles?)
(2) Bednarz could be having visions of some other slice of the space-time continuum, such as New York City at rush hour, created by a wormhole that has found its way into his psyche (just watched Interstellar on DVD, which stimulated this notion).
(3) Bednarz could be under the influence of a brain implant surreptitiously installed in his cranium by the Salem Chamber of Commerce which makes him see things that support the Chamber's desire to waste a half billion dollars or more on building an unneeded Third Bridge.
(This also may, or may not, have happened to Sheronne Blasi, who, thankfully, was a city council candidate who wasn't elected.)
Whatever the reason for the lost Mile-Long Rush Hour Downtown Bridge Backup, we can't give up on looking for it. Warren Bednarz is a Salem City Councilor, one of the top elected officials in this town.
And we all know that elected officials always tell the truth, right? Right?