Last week I heard a resident refer to the mural at Dekalb and Lafayette Sts. as looking like something out of a B horror movie. Really? Do you actually think the ugliest thing in the photo above is the mural? Does anyone not see the billboard? Last time I drove by there, weeds were growing out of the sidewalk cracks. If I wanted to spruce that corner up, to present a good impression to visitors entering the town, the mural isn't what I'd change. That mural at least sends the message that art and creativity might be found here.
Imagine visitors coming into town from the north end of Markley. Wouldn't it be better to see a bit of bright color on that row of empty buildings at Logan Square, rather than a huge "Space Available" sign?
Driving into the borough from the southeast on Ridge Pike, the first thing that catches the eye is a extra large billboard several stories off the ground. If you don't blink, you might see the small, wooden "Welcome to Norristown" sign on the right.
Coming across the Dannehower from Bridgeport? More billboards, but at least our welcome sign there spans the roadway. Still, this is how thousands of cars enter our town. That first few blocks from Main to Spruce aren't exactly easy on the eyes. Maybe the Markley Street project will help.
Driving down Ridge to Norristown, the U-Haul sign dominates the landscape. Another small "Welcome" sign, that most people miss. The triangle between Airy and Main would be a perfect place for a large, permanent-looking welcome display. It wouldn't have to be funded by taxpayers. I should think enough of our businesses would see the benefits of giving visitors a proper welcome.
The real ugliness in our town comes from litter on our streets. From trash bags and cans that are either put out too early, or not picked up on trash day for whatever reason, then left to sit there forever. From vacant lots in the middle of downtown. From abandoned properties and absentee landlords. From businesses who won't take 5 mintues each morning to sweep and clean the sidewalk in front of their doors. From weeds growing out of parking lots and sidewalks and street gutters--I don't mean the occasional little tuff of grass here and there, I mean foot-high unkempt plants with an aura of urban blight. A lot of the weeds are on borough property.
So quit criticizing the mural until you've cleaned your own front yard.
I want my friend to come back to N-town in a year and say "Norristown is so pretty, and so artsy."