As a native of our fair city, I appreciate both its extraordinarily beautiful setting and its enduring quirkiness. General Palmer, poised gracefully in the saddle of his noble bronze steed at the intersection of Nevada and Platte, is part of that quirkiness.
The statue, which was funded by citizen contributions, was placed in its present location in 1924, by a vote of the people. It cannot, by law, be moved unless approved by popular vote.
Every few years, some naive soul suggests that, since it’s an obvious traffic hazard, it ought to be moved. Such suggestions never go anywhere, since all of us old-timers, natives, and anti-progress troglodytes rise as one, emerge from our caves, and descend upon City Hall, terrifying councilmembers with our white hair, long beards, and weighted canes.
And besides, elections cost money-so why bother?
So here’s a gentle compromise: let the city re-do the intersection, perhaps by turning it into a roundabout, and making the General the focal point of a new, accessible median. Surround him with flower beds instead of asphalt, and make the intersection far more pedestrian-friendly. That’d probably cost less than an election, and would have the added, highly desirable effect of making the intersection far safer for the hundreds of Palmer students who use it each day.
And speaking of Palmer students, let’s not forget the ancient high school tradition of painting a certain portion of the horse’s anatomy bright red for homecoming…a tradition in which I once participated, back in the innocent days of yore…