Tuesday, November 27, 2007

"Park Closed" Signs = "Closed to All But Criminals"

Both the Tennessean and NewsChannel5 carry stories this morning that State Officials are going to put "closed-at-night" signs up in Bicentennial Mall and that they are "studying" whether to put emergency call boxes in the Downtown park. Catherine MacTamaney and her blog are mentioned prominently in the Tennessean piece. On the air this morning a NewsChannel5 reporter said that area residents actually start walking around the park for exercise as early as 4:30 a.m. The state admits that it does nothing to secure the park from 11:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m.

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?

7 comments:

  1. Ha, ha, ha. This is so funny. People move downtown thinking that it is going to be all rosey and nice and everyone will be respectful and communal. Then they get robbed and they are so suprised and want to call out the Army.

    I say lump it downtown dwellers. What did you think was going to ahppen when you walk in a deserted park at night. Did you think that just because you were some white, upper-middle class liberal that supported the Civil Rights Movement that you were exempt form crime?

    Now let's here the "true" cost of downtown living when the suburbanites have to pay for call boxes and 24 hour guards to protect the hippies from criminals that are just doing their own thing.

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  2. Why were you surprised that he was consistent? Did you think that he was going to bend to your self-professed superiority concerning matters of state park security? He asked you for ideas and you were then surprised that all of your brilliant suggestions were not immediately adopted and you were awarded a medal of honor for your coming up with ideas that all of the professionals over the entire course of the history of the State Parks Department had never thought of.

    Who do you think you are and why should anyone listen to you? Your “ideas” were shot down because they are stupid to the point of infantile.

    Why should the tax payers of this state pay to make a park safe for you to walk through anytime you want just because you want to. That is so arrogant and immature it is laughable. You would be the first one to say, “Put full time security in Radnor Lake Park because they are in Bicentennial Mall and I might one evening feel like taking a stroll in Radnor Lake Park at 3:00am while I listen to my IPod and count my cash. It’s not fair! Equal rights for all parks users!”

    The only reason you are at risk is because you live downtown and are too stupid to know if you stroll through a deserted park at 2:00 in the morning that you are likely to get assaulted. Why don’t you do something to stop criminals from being criminals instead of making law enforcement and tax payers clean up after your influence over the culture?

    Maybe if you didn’t have to spend so much money to live downtown you could afford a CELL PHONE. I mean every welfare kid in Nashville has one, why don’t you? I guess you think the tax payers should provide you with a cell phone in case you are attacked by the criminals that you helped to create.

    Call Rosa Parks if you are attacked.

    I’ll tell you that one rape in the last ten years is insignificant. What about all of the rape and other crime that occur in the neighborhood where the rapist came from? What are you doing about that? You get real concerned when some rich white woman gets raped and you think it is insignificant when rapes happen in black neighborhoods every day. You must be a racist because you aren’t doing anything about rape in black neighborhoods. How many rapes in poor neighborhoods are you going to tolerate before you do something about it? Would you feel differently if a poor black person was your sister or Mother who got raped? Apparently so. You only care when someone close to you is affected. It is obvious that you just care about yourself. If it could happen to a neighbor it could happen to you. How selfish!

    So let’s make a list of the tings you want the tax payers to finance so that you can live downtown and feel like some sophisticated urbanite and attack and denigrate the suburbs.

    1. Security guards 24/7/365
    2. Emergency phones (repaired or replaced daily/weekly/monthly)
    3. Security cameras (repaired or replaced daily/weekly/monthly)
    4. Supply 1, 2 and 3 above in all parks

    Are you really so ignorant that you don’t know that none of the Sate or Metro Parks have 24 hour security? Are you really so ignorant that you don’t know the difference between capital expenses to build a park (fountains, etc) and annual expenses to run the park (security. emergency phones, cameras).

    Thank you Mr. Fyke for sloughing off the pompous and ignorant suggestions of some busy-body nobody. It is too bad you had to waste your time making a phone call to entertain his hurbris.

    I’ll follow up with Mr Fyke, Rep. Pruitt and Senator Harper to express my satisfaction with Mr. Fyke and his response to your incredible waste of time.

    Ya’ want my suggestion for how to stay safe in a park that is closed and that you aren’t supposed to be in in the first place – stay out of the park. Dumbass.

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  3. Got to hate all those "hippies" and their "hurbris."

    Career anonymous commenters of the world, unite!

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  4. Intresting that all you can do is accuse me of hate and mispelling but can't defend your wacky positions.

    You are one of the most ignorant hippies in Nashville. Your blog is a joke because your opinions are so narrow minded liberal.

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  5. In a form of ironic hubris, I wouldn't be surprised if "Anonymous", who is apparently quite anti-liberal weren't a supporter of the "war" in Iraq.

    Meaning that he or she supports the use of taxpayer dollars in the name of public safety to the tune of trillions of deficit-inducing dollars just "to make [our country] safe for [him] to walk through anytime [he] wants just because [he] wants to".

    But then, I could be wrong...

    -tfo

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  6. Right, I do support the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. I supposed tfo supports Al Qaeda and Saddam.

    I also support the National Guard and the Police Department.

    What tfo and SalemTown Mike are so intentionally ignorant to see is that there is quite a bit of difference between protecting a nation that is being attack by religious fascist and some selfish gentry getting robbed or raped because they are too stupid to stay out of an abandoned park at 2:00am.

    I guess tfo would like to see cops personally escort him in a housing project so he could safely wear his Rolex and count his cash whenever he wanted.

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  7. Right, I do support the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. I supposed tfo supports Al Qaeda and Saddam.

    I also support the National Guard and the Police Department.

    What tfo and SalemTown Mike are so intentionally ignorant to see is that there is quite a bit of difference between protecting a nation that is being attack by religious fascist and some selfish gentry getting robbed or raped because they are too stupid to stay out of an abandoned park at 2:00am.

    I guess tfo would like to see cops personally escort him in a housing project so he could safely wear his Rolex and count his cash whenever he wanted.

    ReplyDelete