Could it be this horrendous bridge commute situation is actually a blessing in disguise?
Do we really, truly want West Seattle to be easily accessible? Perhaps not. If people continue to hear about how awful the bridge situation is -- and how long it takes to get across the bridge -- then just maybe less people will be inclined to move to West Seattle and we can keep this lovely, unique piece of heaven from becoming just another, overcrowded Seattle neighborhood.
If you are a West Seattle resident, then you certainly have heard the funny things other Seattlites have to say about where we live.
When I tell people where I live, they often look at me as if I live on the moon.
"Oh?" they say, "...you live in West Seattle?" as if they may not have heard me correctly. "Really?" they question, then add "West Seattle is a really nice place to live. I'd love to live by Alki beach too, but its so far away!"
Now those of us who live in West Seattle know that it really isn't "far away", but is actually "very close" to most things "Seattle". However, once you get a reputation, it is hard to change people's opinion... right or wrong. So for most Seattlites, West Seattle resides somewhere near Seattle, but they somehow have a vague sense of where exactly it is... sort of like a lot of people in the US think of Alaska and Hawaii -- they're on the map, but sort of not on the map. West Seattle is off someplace, but they're not sure where it actually is -- only that is is "far away". Or so they've heard.
“A reputation once broken may possibly be repaired, but the world will always keep their eyes on the spot where the crack was.”
― Joseph Hall
The above quote is spot on regarding how West Seattle garnered its "bad reputation" for being impossibly far away and hard to get to. It speaks of "the spot where the crack was". This seems to refer to the West Seattle bridge's notorious history concerning its demise back in 1978, when it was struck by a freighter.
Perhaps you've never heard the exciting and scandalous story? About how the original bridge was destroyed by a freighter.
Let me tell you...
Once upon a time, around 2:38 am on June 11, 1978 -- a freighter, named Chavez, bashed into the West Seattle bridge -- and basically destroyed it. After the first bridge was no more, people became highly distressed and inconvenienced in their efforts to get in and out of West Seattle. This went on for the next 6 years, between 1978 and 1984, after which there was a new bridge -- our's :)
It sort of puts our current hellish bridge commute into some greatly needed perspective. All things being "relative" -- even I have to admit that the bridge situation we have now is better than no bridge at all.
But I digress... back to the history of the bridge...
In the beginning -- Seattle first built a bridge to West Seattle in the 1920's. Then people started moving into the area ... more and more. But sadly, and suddenly, the bridge was destroyed. People found it highly inconvenient to get to and from West Seattle -- and so the popularity started to wane.
Then a new bridge was built. But alas, as they say "your reputation precedes you" -- and so it was with West Seattle and its bridge. Only many of us are not dissuaded by bad reputations. In fact, we may actually seek out that which has a tainted reputation -- we are rebels, we are rogues, we are West Seattle!
If you are titillated by this tiny piece of the West Seattle bridge history, might I direct you to read on...
Here are a few photos I took of / on the bridge,