If this is the extent of the changes promised by Senator Thelma Harper in a phone call to me before Thanksgiving, I've got to say that I am very disappointed. About all posting signs do is cover the state's legal butt if someone else gets assaulted in the park. It does not increase overnight security. A sign is of little solace to someone who finds themselves stranded alone in the area without a phone through no fault of their own. It is also a cue to predators, muggers, and thugs that the park is unpatrolled and is low priority on high visibility.
As for "studying" call boxes, I remain unconvinced that such studies have not been conducted by paper-pushing bureaucrats in the past. I think that the announcement to study the possibility is a stall tactic, based on Park Commissioner Jim Fyke's total allergic and stonewalling response to me. They announce a study now, taking the edge off the controversy and, when attention turns to other matters, then the study goes away. Then we still don't have security on Bicentennial Mall, and early morning walkers or stranded motorists are left with the cold solace of "closed signs." How do signs secure an accessible park?
Side note: the Nashville City Paper is curiously silent on the state's about face as they have been on Mall security in general, despite their interest in becoming more net-focused. My guess is that since this crime doesn't involve illegal immigrants or bloggers uncritical of their publication, then they are not interested.
UPDATE: CatMac weighs in on state-significant signage:
The new signs are not news. The new signs will be pointed to after the next attack, no doubt, as a good faith effort by the Commission to intervene. But, really, guys, signs? .... [T]his is really not an issue of signage. It's one of economic development, revitalized urban centers and an antiquated model for patrolling in state-run parks. The bad guys are not going to care that the signs are there, and unless the city opts for that oh-so-much-more-efficient monorail from downtown to the residential neighborhoods nearby, people are still going to walk in the park. Indeed, that's what it's designed for. Our downtown development, essential to avoiding Nashville becoming the dreaded "Next Atlanta" (cue frontpage story on the Tennessean) depends on a thoughtful, common sense approach to making downtown livable again. A 17 acre greenspace is a beautiful thing in an urban center. The way it is managed should be a tribute, and not an obstacle, to a thriving downtown.
UPDATE: Et tu, Aunt B:
I’m sure [closed-at-night signs] will deter those law-abiding rapists. And, really, if they don’t put cops in the park, how will they enforce the “closed at night” rule?