It has been suggested to Chanhassen City Council that a pedestrian bridge, which would begin at the parking lot directly across the street from Paisley Park, then cross over Audobon and leading directly to “the fence”, be constructed. This would be a win-win for the fans, the residents who live in and around Paisley Park, and for the city, who are struggling with traffic studies, etc. This suggestion, ( in contrast to the virtual fence), would keep the tangible and very real connection between Prince and his fans. In this way, fans could continue to leave their memorials at the fence, a ritual which was initiated by the fans, without becoming traffic hazards. And the traffic would be able to flow down Audubon with in its normal and customary flow.
Instead of a lot of restrictive signs, which can only be proven to work over time, a pedestrian bridge would allow fans to continue to leave their memorials. And, a reminder, that the tour costs may be too high for some fans and there is the issue of those fans who may not be emotionally ready to take the tour.
It must be remembered that Prince loved his fans and they loved him, and this simple solution would allow the fence to serve as a connection between his fans and his memory. The memorials could continue to be removed and archived and stored until such time it has been determined how and where they will be displayed. Prince himself would want safety issues to be resolved, and this would be fitting due to his own ‘bridge-building’ via his philanthropy to causes worldwide.
This seems to be such an easy solution and one wonders why no one is looking into this to resolve the issues which are of concern to the Chanhassen City Council members. One would think that this is a solution worthy of being explored.
The fence as somewhere to leave memorials should continue, as it has proven to be a cathartic mechanism for Prince fans, and Prince fans are still grieving. Instead of trying to terminate the grieving process of the fans, that process should be acknowledged and accommodated. One councilperson, (McDonald), expressly stated that he wanted something for the fans and their memorials. The cyber fence created by those who are temporarily in charge, does not take into account that there is more than artwork being left at the fence. There are notes, ‘love-locks’, flowers, etc and every fan who travels from all over the country and the world wants to leave their own personal memorial, and that is a fact which needs to be considered.
The pedestrian bridge would eliminate all of the of the current concerns and obstacles.