This question was raised by a reader recently, and it has occurred to Gossips to wonder more than once. Why are there still public phones around the city?
The one on Front Street, in front of the Chamber of Commerce, has been vandalized and is completely unusable. The handset is missing! The ones next to the First Presbyterian Church and in front of City Hall are magnets for graffiti. The only one that looks like it might still be functioning is the one on Union Street near the courthouse, but it's unclear if anyone ever uses it.
In this day and age, when everyone carries a cell phone, it seems there is little need for public telephones. But what would it take to get rid of them?
Update: We are not alone. After reading this post, Alderman Dominic Merante sent me the link to an article about abandoned and nonfunctioning payphones that appeared in USA Today on November 3, 2014: "Forgotten payphone relics no talk, no action." It seems the first step in getting rid of them is establishing who owns them.
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