From the Editors: January 31, 2018
Somehow a vital connection is made
It's all about connections. That's what they say, isn't it?
So much of life is about bridging the gap between people and places. For Erie, there's one thing in particular that springs to mind these days: The McBride Viaduct.
The passageway has been in the public eye for years. A bridge on our city's east side, it runs alongside the Bayfront Connector, where East Avenue would be, between 12th Street and 19th Street. For years, it's been unsafe for motor vehicles, but remains a viable path for pedestrians. This pathway is much easier to traverse than the sidewalk of the Bayfront Connector, with no thruway to the east for a mile.
It's a helpful bridge, one that's consistently used by local pedestrians. When one of our staff members went out to photograph the viaduct, he walked it, seeing several people utilizing it along the way. It was far from the first time he had been on the bridge, having lived in a house near Erie County Farms for nearly ten years — much of the time without a car. The viaduct wasn't just helpful, it was necessary.
There's something about the viaduct that's more than a bridge though. It's a symbol. For some, it's come to represent the mismanagement of our city's government, with many local organizations requesting a formal city meeting on the issue. On the east side — with its large population of minority residents, it's just another frustrating example of the neglect this part of the city has grown accustomed to. Being recently named the worst American city for African Americans, shouldn't we be trying our best to improve this area?
The Bayfront Connector, for all of its convenience, slices our city apart. The cars cruising down the passageway at highway speeds are a potential danger for anyone hoping to cross by foot. The neighborhoods around the connector get shut off from activity, practically dying on the vine.
Former Erie County Councilman Jay Breneman writes about this topic, describing his greater understanding of the issue as a whole. Newly sworn-in Erie City Councilwoman Liz Allen looks at it from a different perspective, as visions of the neighborhood's past come into focus.
Connections. That's what we need. That's not the only kind of connection out there, however. As Valentine's Day rears its heart-shaped head, it makes single people all around let out a collective groan. If you've been out of the dating scene for a few years, things have changed, and changed big time. While it's certainly still possible to meet someone the old-fashioned way, more and more, we're focusing our search for love to the tiny screen of our phones. Online dating apps like Tinder and Bumble are the way things work nowadays. Get some advice from two of our writers — choosing to remain anonymous — who can tell you war stories directly from the front lines.
It's important that we keep these links and relationships healthy. No one is an island. Eventually, we all need each other, and we can all do our part to keep these pathways safe and clear.