Farmington’s Main Street is not a main street in Farmington. But why does it need to be shut down? Is the City Council afraid our firefighters and police officers will get hit crossing the street? The Observer knows many of our policemen and firemen. They are all perfectly capable of crossing a street without being hurt. In fact, the Observer is willing to go out on a limb and say that every one of our city employees knows to look both ways before crossing a street.
The Observer keeps hearing that, if Main Street is closed, the police station, the fire station, and the space in between will constitute a “public safety campus.” What in the world is a “public safety campus”? When the word campus is used, most people think of college campuses. Basically, on a college campus, half the students lay in the sun while the other half ogles them. A few others might be playing ultimate Frisbee. And that’s during the daytime. At night the primary function of college campuses is to harbor keg parties or, on very special occasions, toga parties.
If that’s what proponents mean by the word “campus” in the phrase “public safety campus,” the whole thing is a bad idea. Policemen and firemen playing ultimate Frisbee and having toga parties along Columbia Street, though fun, would not inspire public confidence.
Also, closing Main Street would push too much traffic on to Long Street, a quiet street built to carry very little traffic, or on to Henry Street, a street that already carries too much traffic.
And the Observer is the one who’s going to publicly ask the question being asked privately around town: Is the new firehouse too big? Does it dwarf the police station (itself a very nice building) to the point that the two next to each present a question of proportion? If so, the Observer does not necessarily blame our city council, which, the Observer is sure, paid handsomely for an architect who was supposed to spot and prevent such problems.
What’s done is done, of course. One can’t put the police station on steroids or deflate the fire house. And perhaps we should all just be thankful to have a city prosperous enough to have two fine public safety buildings.
Still, toga parties, as much fun as they are, are no reason to close Main Street.
The Settlement Observer is a resident of Farmington.