September 9, 2008 · Updated 5:06 PM
The air show during the hydro races seems to encourage some sort of zugen rue frenzy and myopic insanity by the viewing public. After watching 28 years of dirty diaper-dumping, red and white fried chicken buckets, empty beer cases, and broken styrofoam chests along with the low-speed collisions, on-street bickering and shouting about parking spaces, children darting onto West Mercer Way, and people walking through homeowners properties ... you wonder why this event is such a good idea. Well, its part of the community and we deal with it.
My one complaint is a safety issue along West Mercer Way. No Parking signs are posted south of 24th Street along West Mercer Way by city engineers prior to the races to enable emergency services access from Proctor Landing and the surrounding neighborhoods. In years past, West Mercer Way would become a standing parking lot with little or no access for emergency services to Proctor Landing. It seems the visiting public has become defiant or numb to observing these No Parking signs and block homeowners driveways (mine being one of them) with impunity just to join the thousands of spectators clambering for their 45 minutes of Blue Angel nirvana and then having to face the impending two or three hours of sitting and fuming in their vehicles trying to get off the Island. Its jet fumes bliss uncorked.
But the irony in all of this is the lack of enforcement. Now, Im no accountant, but the city has an obligation to issue citations for improperly parked vehicles and at $50 per vehicle, I figure the city is missing out on some big bucks for its coffers, not to mention the revenue spike ($100 plus) for our taxpaying local towing companies. Now, our citys finest were out and about creeping along West Mercer Way being visible, but none ever stopped to enforce these No Parking signs or vehicles blocking driveways. So, why invest in these signs in the first place, spend time and fuel placing and removing these signs if they serve no purpose? As far as safe access for emergency services, maybe its just not as important as being nice and patronizing to these Island visitors.
I say, bring back the constipated traffic, sweaty mayhem, dirty diapers, red and white chicken buckets and alcohol-induced public disorder to Seafair and let the local neighborhoods fend off these spectators the in-your-face old-fashioned way, and do away with any emergency services for the day. Its such a good public relations practice and can save the city tons dough. Or, simply do (for a few days) what you say.