Driving In The Dark
On January 15, 2001, I had to make an early morning trip from my home in Belle Harbor to Brooklyn by way of the Marine Parkway/Gil Hodges Memorial Bridge.
As you know, this TBTA facility is undergoing reconstruction and is reduced to one lane in each direction at all hours, instead of the usual two or lane reversal at peak travel times for a three and one lane setup.
Due in part to the hour 6:45 and to heavy rain falling with the threat of snow mixed in, it was darker than usual, yet the bridge’s road lights were not on.
I drive an ambulance for a living so "broken field running" is second nature to me. With my personal vehicle, a mini van that is much narrower than my ambulance and with the street lights off, I could barely make out the lane in my headlights. I drove over the bridge at the reduced speed required of me for the construction zone in fear of hitting the rail to my right or the "Jersey divider" to my left.
On January 20, 2001 at 7:15 a.m., I was headed to "inland" Queens on the Cross Bay/Veterans Memorial Bridge when all the lights went out. At least I could see all three full sized lanes in the dawn’s early light.
Are these lights on a timer? Are they on a single light sensor, which might be correct for the lighting on one side of the bridge but not the other due to a storm moving through or a fog?
Why are the lights on those bridges not lit when needed?
RICHARD C. BERGER