The fountain at the intersection of 5th and Market has been hit seven times over the past ten years, over the past sixty, many more times. Hundreds of thousands of dollars have been spent repairing it, but it’s an icon so it can’t be removed, or so they say!
It originally had a pool at street level, but that was removed in 1953, after the State Highway Commission asked the city to move the entire fountain.
Even in the 50s it was a traffic hazard and city leaders wouldn’t move it. It is an obstacle in the middle of a street and council is more fixated on the icon than the safety of motorists. Oh, and 1 in 5 miles of roads in Wilmington is considered unsatisfactory.
In 2005, the city paid $370,000, including a $250,000 donation, to rehabilitate the fountain. The repairs included stone restoration, cleaning and sealing cracks and repairing the plumbing and lighting.
And yet it STILL gets hit! It’s a fountain in the middle of one of the busiest streets in Wilmington. What’s the genius solution?
improve lighting at the intersection; change the pavement around the fountain with brick pavers or stamped asphalt; implement a road diet on Market Street between 16th and Third streets to create a one-lane roundabout around the fountain.
Road diet? Really? More lighting? Hmm. . . It never occurs to anyone that moving the fountain removes the problem completely! Again, public safety is secondary to public icons. Maybe we’ll have a new statue at the intersection of Oleander and College, it will surely get lots of attention!
........As you post your comment, please conform to Squall Line's simple comment policy: we welcome all perspectives, but require that comments be both civil and respectful. If you wouldn't say it to a co-worker in front of your boss, it probably is not civil and respectful. We will delete any comment that fails this test and issue a warning to the poster. A second offense will result in a ban on commenting on this site. In sum, disagreements, arguments even, are welcome; abusive behavior is not. Thanks.
You must be logged in to post a comment.