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“Do Nothing” was the top vote-getter in the city of Santa Calrita’s Newhall Roundabout Art survey, according to documents released Thursday by the city.
The survey, which appeared on the city’s website and elsewhere, asked residents what sort of public art they want to see in the traffic circle that’s under construction in front of Hart Park in Newhall.
Respondents were given seven choices ranging from “Do Nothing” to a statue of William S. Hart.
Of the 584 responses, 183, or 31 percent, picked “Do Nothing.” Coupled with the 6 respondents who picked “Art in Another Location,” the total was 189 in favor of a blank roundabout.
Hart, an early 20th-century cowboy actor, was the runner up with 120 votes (20.5 percent).
Next came “Live Tree” with 82 votes, followed by “Landscaping” (53 votes) and “Water Feature” (41 votes). Ninety-nine picked “Other.”
In September, the City Council ordered the survey to be initiated following public and council members’ own objections to two alternative pieces of public art recoomended by the Arts Commission. One was made of heavy-duty glass and represented an early Native American dwelling; the other was a large metal film strip that incorporated scenes from the 1925 Hart film, “Tumbleweeds,” into the design.
City staff, in consultation with an ad-hoc committee of the Arts Commission, developed the survey, which circulated from Oct. 18 to Nov. 11.
The survey contained the following explanatory information:
“One of the priorities for the revitalization of Old Town Newhall identified in the Specific Plan, was to change the character of the area by reconfiguring traffic flow with the construction of a roundabout at the intersection of 5th Street, Newhall Avenue, and Main Street. The roundabout will not only improve traffic circulation, but will also serve as a southern gateway into Old Town Newhall and the City of Santa Clarita. Within this roundabout, will be a piece of public art that will symbolize Old Town Newhall’s heritage. The City Council is seeking your opinion on what type of artwork should be placed in the roundabout.”