Friday, August 31, 2012

Tunnels beneath Fayetteville streets and the questions it just seems too rude to ask, in all our excitement

Posted By on Fri, Aug 31, 2012 at 10:49 AM

I was going to write about one one of Fayetteville’s unsung heroes today, but the whole idea of tunnels under our streets has captured my fetid imagination.

So I’m thinking about tunnels beneath our streets. Not as in The Great Escape, or even the type as in the old George Reeves movie (Superman and the Mole Men - a more interesting story than Superman stories of recent years) but the type approved by Fayetteville’s Street Committee, authorizing a tunnel to be built beneath Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.

The proposed tunnel will connect Frisco Trail to Walker Park.

I conducted one of my infamously non-scientific surveys yesterday, and asked several women what they thought of the idea, and if they would ever jog or bike in such a tunnel?

“Are you out of your mind?” one woman asked me.

For the record, even though this survey shouldn’t probably be taken too seriously, since I asked less than ten women, none said yes.

We live in a city, after all, in which a mayoral candidate once made the issues of safety for women on our trail system an issue.

Now, don’t get me wrong - stuff underground is really cool.

When I was in Berlin in 1972, and saw the stores below street level I was enthralled, and the same has held true for other cities I have visited. But retail centers are different from trails systems.

And I’m tired of stuff that “we aren’t supposed to talk about,” so lets talk about the issue of safety in the tunnel system for a few lines, why don’t we?

The Fayetteville Police Department has already beefed up its patrols along the existing trail system; do we have the money and manpower for them to police a tunnel system, as well?

I’m sort of assuming that, should worse come to worst, personal cell phones will be able to operate in the tunnel. This assumption is more of a question, actually.

Would there be enhanced video surveillance - up to and including infrared, I suppose, in case someone takes it upon themselves to knock the lights out? And people like to do that, you know. We aren’t living in Utopiaville, as it so happens.

It seems sort of mean-spirited, I know, to raise these questions so early in the game, but this is probably exactly when they should be raised.

I’d rather have them addressed now, than have someone further down the line go, “Oops! Guess we should have thought of that!”

******

Second Amendment News I: Three men shot on Arkansas River

Billy Ray Davenport, 56, has been arrested and accused of shooting three other men on the Arkansas River in Van Buren last weekend.

None of the men sustained life-threatening wounds.

The men were bow fishing from a boat on the river when the shotgun-armed Davenport emerged from his nearby houseboat and started yelling at them.

As they were leaving, he punctuated his remarks with his shotgun, striking all three of the men with pellets.

*****

Second Amendment News II: 15 year-old high school student opens fire on first day of high school in Baltimore, Maryland

Firing two shots and wounding a fellow classmate before being tackled by teachers, the boy had walked into the cafeteria, where he pulled out his weapon.

****

Quote of the Day

It is this setting ourselves up as in any way superior to the lowest man or woman in the world that brings evil into the world. - Sherwood Anderson

sdrake@cox.net

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