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Aurora Bridge at Noon


mattp
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Just to make sure I have this right, you were up against the guard rail of the Auroa bridge during noon, so there was a lot of traffic. You weren't just enojoying the view or taking pictures, but instead dangling something over the edge and tying something to the guard rails.

 

The police show up to see what you are doing (and probably have never climbed or even seen a climbing rope in real life.) You tell them "Untwisting my rope" and expect them to understand and leave you alone. Instead, not knowing if you are doing something criminal or are about to jump, want you to walk over to their patrol cars so they can go see what you were doing.

 

Now the police are by their cars watching you stand near the railing and fiddle with something, while you argue that you don't want to go over to them. The police, whom being lied to is a daily routine and often deal with mental people and suicidal people, insist that you come over to them. Once you do and explain the situation, and they see that you were not committing a criminal act or trying to jump, let you go. But first they want to drive you off the bridge so they don't get more 911 calls about this, or have traffic back up watching you, or have an accident because someone is watching you and not the road.

 

Seems to me that everything worked out just fine, and the cops did what they were supposed to do. You did not get beat up, arrested or thrown of the bridge. So what is your complaint again?

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i once knew this guy who got arrested rappeling off the Montlake bridge. The cops confiscated his rope as evidense so we used his friends rope which was really, really beat up. so i'm rapelling down his friend's rope and there's like holes in the mantle and then one section where the mantle is completely seperated so i stop on a ledge and pass the gap through my belay device and then rap the rest of the way down quickly because i think the rope is going to break.

 

cops are dangerous.

 

Cops are dangerous? You are the one rappelling off a public structure with a rope so worn that you don't even trust. Now picture this. The rope breaks (or the people rappelling or idiots who saw it once on TV and have no idea what to do) and you go crashing down onto the street below.

 

Fire crews show up to treat you, police come out to block traffic and investigate if this was a crime or accident. You get sent to the hospital (do you have insurance to cover your injuries, or do the taxpayers pay for it?)

 

The street is blocked off for 30 minutes while this all happens, and ties up numerous resources that could be doing something else.

 

Please use some common sense, and do not try to blame someone else when they have to force common sense onto you.

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So I picked my kids up at school the other day and I'm driving out Republican to Broadway and pass by a couple of cop cars parked all funny, so I went real slow as I had no idea what was going on, like whether these guys would suddenly pull out or some "perp" would dart across the street or something.

 

Anyway, I'm a bit distracted and as I get to Broadway I'm edging up to do a right on red and I suddenly notice one of those agressive peds right in front of me and I stamp on the brakes.

 

I'm next to the curb to turn right and all of sudden I look left and there's this cop in his car motioning me to roll down my window. He starts reaming me out about "don't stop at a stop light just because there's a cop behind you!!!"

 

"Yes sir, no sir, sorry sir." WTF!!?

 

He probably was right behind me, following too close. I didn't even know. Then when I stopped suddenly so as not to run over the ped, it scared him. Rear ending a civilian, mucho paperwork...

 

Cops are dangerous.

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So Chuck, you are driving down the street and don't know there is a cop behind you (not using your rearview mirror) and almost hit a pedestrian because you didn't see him until the very last minute. What the heck were you concentrating on? It certainly wasn't driving. But somehow all this is the cops fault.

 

But wait, I hear it coming. You were distracted by the cop cars, thus you weren't paying attention to what was in front of you. You illustrate my above point perfectly, that a guy doing something suspicious on the Aurua bridge at noon is a distraction, which could lead to an accident. Then everybody screams "Why was this allowed! Why didn't the cops do something!"

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NTC, It sounds like you have dealt with allot of knuckleheads as a cop and therefore are very used to arguing and defending your position. Don't be too suspicious of your fellow man. not everyone is a criminal.

 

 

Your right, not everyone is a criminal. Most are normal people like you and I. But keep this in mind. The guy who just shot the WSP trooper five times was also not a criminal. According to the news, had never been arrested before. Who knows what he was thinking, but for some reason he decided to go from average joe with no criminal history to a cop killer in one night. Here is the link to the news story Trooper shooting

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I'm not here to jump on anyone, I just want people to understand that life goes on around them, and their actions affect other people whether they are aware of it or not.

 

Plus, I have an hour to kill before heading to work, just spent all day climbing at Index (just led my first Index 5.10a!) and I'm bored.

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Baloney you're not meaning to jump on anyone, NTC. You're jumping to conclusions and jumping on me.

 

First of all, you talk about what hazard it is to be on the Aurora Bridge doing something pefectly legal at - oh my god - noon of all times. Hello: that was my lunch hour. That is when I had time to be there. It wasn't rush hour, or darkness.

 

Then you restate my story as if to make out that I was refusing to come talk to or stand next to the cops of whatever. That is not correct. We were literally standing on opposite sides of a 6" guardrail. I was 100% responsive, walked over to them, talked to them, and was respectful.

 

I answered their questions directly and honestly, and you somehow suggest I am improperly assuming they have some deep seated knowledge of climbing. As the conversation followed I offered more explanation but when a police offier asks me what I am doing I believe it is best to answer succinctly and honestly. But you read some other "motive" into my response.

 

Lastly, you argumentatively ask "what was my complaint?" Look back: I didn't complain, but I told a story of the police doing their job and noted I thought the whole thing did have an element of silliness to it.

 

Lowell is right to suggest that, considering the history of suicides on the bridge, I might have anticipated that somebody might be concerned by the sight of any activity that might be "unusual." However, try to be objective here and answer this: why is it that I am any more of a suicide risk than the person who is standing in the bridge without a rope -- if I were planning to jump, I would have stood there without a rope and everybody would have driven by without even a notice. As far as I know, there is no law against being on a pedestrian walkway at any hour, or hanging a rope from a bridge where it dangles onto a piece of grass.

 

Lesson learned. I posted it on this site both as a humorous story (I think it is) but also so that others might not make the same mistake.

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Oh, and now that you mention it, I agree with you that what we do affects others around us. In this particular case, the police response actually could have caused an accident. I'm not critical of the officers involved, because they were just doing their job and when I think about it in retrospect, I am sure that when they get a 911 call about somebody on the Aurora Bridge they have to act.

 

But you know what? Had one of them simply driven by first, before they stopped broadside, I bet they might have concluded I was not a threat to myself or anybody else as I stood there, coiling up a rope that I had by then piled onto the walkway.

 

Should this be their protocol? I don't know. Like I said, I am not critical of the officers involved - they were cool.

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"I posted it on this site both as a humorous story (I think it is) but also so that others might not make the same mistake."

 

Uh...don't think you have to worry about that. I don't know if there is another person in Seattle that wouldn't have anticipated attracting attention doing this. At least no one that is smart enough to be alive after climbing as long as you have.

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i once knew this guy who got arrested rappeling off the Montlake bridge.

 

and you go crashing down onto the street below.

 

My friend, you are going to need one helluva glide ratio to fall off the Montlake Bridge and land in a street. But, let's say you achieve just that and the following ensues:

 

Fire crews show up to treat you, police come out to block traffic and investigate if this was a crime or accident. You get sent to the hospital (do you have insurance to cover your injuries, or do the taxpayers pay for it?)

 

The street is blocked off for 30 minutes while this all happens, and ties up numerous resources that could be doing something else.

 

How does this sequence of events (save maybe the crime investigation and street closure) differ from what happens if you tank it off the Lower Town Wall?

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No difference. But the last time I checked, rapping off Lower Town Wall wasn't against the law. And I'm pretty sure there's some statute somewhere that says you can't "get your kinks out" on the Aurora Bridge... even if it is noon and you're on your lunch hour.

 

I would've called you in, even having a pretty good idea of what you were doing.

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I would've called you in, even having a pretty good idea of what you were doing.

 

WTF!!!!?....some people make me sad...

 

Glad I could darken your view on humanity.

 

I would've called it in not because I thought MattP was looking to off himself or rig explosives under the bridge. Nope... I would've called it in so the fuzz could escort Mr. ReallyBadIdeaDuringYourLunchHour off the bridge rather quickly so the 47,000 folks drinking iced lattes with one hand and talking on the phone with the other while driving with their knees don't cause a fatality when they rubberneck doing 50 mph at what this guy is doing hanging a rope off the bridge, and swerve into my freaking lane and the side of my car. Lord knows they can't drive, drink coffee, and talk on the phone to start with, so throw another distraction into the equation and you've got a 20 car pile up in the works.

 

Sorry. I'm just an ass that way.

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Actually, traffic was moving past unimpeded and there was no apparent rubbernecking problem or other interference with traffic until the police showed up and, by then, I had recoiled my rope and was ready to walk off the bridge.

 

My guess is that, if asked, the officers who responded would agree that there was no apparent problem with the traffic until they showed up but nevertheless they were bound to do their job. Some guy doing something in the pedestrian walkway - glance over and drive on. Two police cars parked broadside in the middle of traffic on the bridge? Better take a close look and see what is going on as you squeeze by in the center lane or speed past in the opposite direction. I believe, Mr. Nelson, you are wrong in your assessment on this point.

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I routinely see people almost cause massive pile ups because they can't drive and read the stupid flashing DOT boards above I-5 at the same time. "Oh gee... that sign says something. I'd better HIT MY BRAKES and slow to 40 so I can see what it says." You telling me that those same folks aren't going to bat an eye when someone is dropping a rope over the edge of that bridge?

 

While I find it interesting that I'm even getting worked up about this, I find it even more interesting that you seem to see no problem with your rope work on Friday. This, from the same guy who warns people not to flash their high beams at oncoming cars to warn them of a speed trap because the police might pull you over for interfering with their speed trap. But yet the cops showing up for a guy with a rope dangling over the bridge is an overreaction?

 

It's all fun and games until someone gets an eye poked out. I think Mom's little words of wisdom apply very nicely in this situation.

 

Now see what you did... you made me go and sound like my Mom. Shit.

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