So, I was musing on Facebook this morning about the electronic sign the City put in front of my house in April that will be there through the end of May, and an FBF who lives across from Albemarle Field posted this photo of the view from her front door. The banner is across the street from a residential neighborhood comprised of single and two family homes, at the intersection of Crafts Street and North Street, where many Day Middle School and Horace Mann Elementary School students cross on their way to school. Other FBFs also chimed in, questioning the message it sends to residents and others about their neighborhood.
Being a civic minded fellow, I immediately dashed off an e-bomb to the Mayor’s Office, Chief of Police, the Commissioner of Parks & Rec (Boy, do I miss that show) and the entire City Council applauding the City’s efforts to be proactive, but asking whether they would want this banner across the street from their houses. After some back and forth with a few city officials, I was informed that all banners at Albemarle Field would be removed, while the City rethinks its policy. Personally, I do not like sign pollution, regardless of the content. But I have to confess that I agree with the residents who objected to this particular banner being posted in their neighborhood.
While I agree that the banner has an important message, I wonder whether it is the most effective way of addressing the opioid crisis, and also whether it sends a negative–albeit unintended–message about the residential neighborhood where it was posted. I was somewhat surprised to get significant pushback from some of our elected officials, who think the banner was appropriate, regardless of how the neighbors feel about it. So, I am interested in hearing from the Village 14 Neighborhood. What do you think? Should the City’s “Need Narcan?” campaign include erecting banners in residential neighborhoods, or should the City focus instead on policies that have proven effective at addressing the opioid crisis, like what the City of Quincy is doing.*
*Yes, I know it’s a loaded question. Don’t @ me.