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Should Pierce County Ban Bridge Jumping on Lake Tapps?

The Pierce County Council is considering a ban on bridge jumping at Lake Tapps. Will it help with safety issues on the lake, or is it over-policing?

The temptation of jumping off a Lake Tapps bridge on a hot day into the icy waters below may soon become illegal.

Last week, the Pierce County Council Public Safety and Human Services Committee voted unanimously to recommend a ban on jumping from two bridges on the lake – one at Fairweather Cove at the north end of the lake, and the other on 218th Ave. E. on the south side. The Council will make their vote next month.

If approved, violators would be fined $120 for bridge jumping.

Pierce County Councilman Dan Roach (R-Bonney Lake) said bridge jumpers and their friends often congregate around the two-lane roads and cause safety hazards and traffic buildup.

Two years ago, 20-year-old Algona resident Charley Sing drowned in Lake Tapps after he dove off the Sumner-Tapps Highway bridge.

This summer, three young men drowned on Lake Tapps, making it one of the most dangerous swimming seasons in the lake's history.

Swimming and fishing off Lake Tapps' bridges are already illegal. Jumping off bridges is already illegal in seven other lakes in Pierce County.

Do you think bridge jumping at Lake Tapps should be illegal? Tell us in the comments.

sally October 17, 2012 at 06:18 PM
There is so many things wrong with this story. I don't even know where to start. First, there are not enough police to enforce this. Second, there are serious issues in Pierce County that the council could be dealing with, Third if Council Man Dan Roach cannot handle our "ice cold" water thats his problem not the entire populations. What a whimp. Fourth, has anyone been hit by a boat or drowned jumping of the 218th bridge? Prove it. Get serious. The most serious issue the Council can come up with in the middle of October is Bridge Jumping on Lake Tapps? There is nothing else to deal with? Holy cow. My 5 year old could come up with more than that. Guess we better start a Bridge Jumping Fee jar for spare change at our house. And there are some council members who will never get another vote from me.
Scott October 17, 2012 at 07:31 PM
The kid that jumped from Sumner Tapps bridge did not know how to swim. He did not die from the jump. I could do a belly flop from any bridge on Tapps and be fine. If the water is too cold for Roach, maybe he should put on his big boy pants next time!!! If your going to waste time and money, put it towards the park not this. Tapps is becoming the "no fun lake". They took down the rope swing and now this. As a kid I have many memories of fun times on Tapps. What's next no skiing on the lake?
Sean McDowell October 18, 2012 at 05:46 PM
What does "This summer, three young men drowned on Lake Tapps, making it one of the most dangerous swimming seasons in the lake's history." have to do with this location? I'm sad for the 3 men that drowned on Lake Tapps. Maybe they can ban fun on lake tapps because isn't that what leads to injury, if we can just stop people from using our lake people wouldn't get hurt there...
Sherry Creson October 18, 2012 at 06:04 PM
I don't think the problem has anything to do with the cold water of the lake, or Dan Roach's swimming. The issue is traffic related. Cars parked along the roadway and kids mingling on the bridge, creating the possibility of getting hit by a car, is the issue here. It would be nice to have off road parking and a walkway separating the road and pedestrians so the kids could safely jump from the walkway and not be a traffic issue. The problem there is financing such amenities for the safety of the kids as well as traffic. It really has nothing to do with having fun swimming and diving. It was not such a problem "in the good old days" when there was very little traffic on those roads. Growth in population has brought growth in traffic, creating a hazard. Just sayin'..........Times have changed, sad to say.
Steve Richfield October 18, 2012 at 06:23 PM
Banning bridge jumping has 2 problems: 1. Jumping and eluding police will be seen as an ENHANCEMENT to just jumping without the excitement of subsequently eluding police, thereby increasing the "problem". 2. Bridge jumping is BENEFICIAL to society. Bridge jumping by non-swimmers should be rewarded with the Posthumous Darwin Award for helping maintain the quality of our DNA. Anyone stupid enough to jump off of a bridge who can't swim SHOULD die, so that future generations don't have to support them and their stupid offspring. Get real and find something useful to do, and leave bridge jumping to the bridge jumpers. Steve
Julie October 19, 2012 at 04:04 AM
We over protect our children. They need to have manners and use their brains. I live near the 218th bridge and coming home during the summer can be challenging. But it is the kids that need to use their brains and look for cars and be courteous to the drivers and vice versa. If kids were responsible and not act like they are in a park this wouldn't be an issue. Parents teach your kids responsibility so everyone can enjoy the bridge.
Lauren Padgett (Editor) October 19, 2012 at 03:30 PM
I agree - it's hard to say whether or not a blanket rule on bridge jumping will work, but those kids put themselves in danger while crossing the street to get to the lake. It's not a safe place to hang out, people drive so fast around the lake.
Paul October 29, 2012 at 11:58 PM
I think everyone whoever grew up in the area and I'm talking to all the old folks and jump off the bridge. Who remembers the old bridge. I wish all these people who think their from here would leave, I use to have deer and elk walk through my backyard. I remember having to wait while 50 head of elk cross the road. You all can leave and take your Walmart With you.
Mark C October 30, 2012 at 01:23 AM
Perhaps they could devote a minute or two to working on the problem of junkie ex-con dope dealers having shootouts with drugged-out would-be narcotic thieves in residential neighborhoods crawling with kids. But no, kids jumping off bridges, that's important too...

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