Header photo by Sierra Hartman All other images courtesy of Over Tacoma
Most who are self-quarantining right now spend their time binging Netflix, discovering the forgotten art of baking bread, and making dad jokes about toilet paper being the new currency. But one Tacoman out there is using this strange time to try and better our city—at least in her eyes.
Nora Caron, a resident of the West End since 2012, recently started an online petition calling for the eastbound Tacoma Narrows Bridge to be remodeled so that it matches its 1950 sister. Undeterred by the fact that the alterations would be a massive, multi-million dollar undertaking, Caron insists the end result would be worth the effort.
“Admit it,” she said when we spoke via phone on Tuesday. “Tacoma could be more beautiful.”
“It’s a proven fact that humans find symmetry aesthetically pleasing,” she continued. “The vast majority of supermodels have highly symmetrical faces and they’re widely regarded as beautiful to look at. Why wouldn’t we do everything we can to have the world gaze upon an iconic view of our city with such adoration?”
The petition description goes on to explain:
Prioritizing function over form was a short-sighted move by WSDOT. Ultimately we have only traded one issue for another, swapping traffic congestion for a blight on our area’s natural beauty.
Caron’s plan calls for the toll to drive eastbound to be raised to $14 to pay for the remodel work, a price she deems fair “for those Gig Harbor people.”
“Listen,” Caron added during our chat, “whether they realize it or not, people crave symmetry and cohesiveness, even in the structures that surround them. Just look at how Bezos’ lopsided balls were received! Good gracious.”
When asked about what she thinks of other Tacoma buildings, she deemed the Tacoma Dome “fantastic,” St. Joe’s “glorious,” and the Murray Morgan Bridge “a little wonky the way it tilts to one side.”
Caron, who typically spends her days heading up the PTA at the school her twin sons attend, says she’s putting her “Coronacation” time to good use.
“The hecticness of everyday life has really kept me from putting my passion into things that really call to me. Now, with everything slowing down, I feel a calling to right this wrong. I love this city and I will fight tooth and nail to do whatever it takes to get it the recognition it deserves.”
It turns out she isn’t alone. Caron was spurred to create the petition after posting a Facebook poll using this photoshopped image to share her vision. The response to her question, “So much better, amirite?” resulted in 92 percent of people voting that they did, indeed, prefer the matching bridges.
Comments on the post seemingly supporting the idea read:
Eve: YESSSS! I thought I was the only one!
Bob: Oddly satisfying.
Hannah: Nice! But those cars don’t look like essential travelers…
A person named Chris was one of the few who spoke out to disagree, writing, “leave the Tacoma Narrows Bitches alone!”
We put in a call to WSDOT to get their reaction to the matching bridges mission. Official response: “No comment.” Also uttered: “Oh, for fuck’s sake.”
Who knows if Caron’s petition will reach its initial goal of 10,000 signatures, but it’s fair to say the suspension is killing us.