San Francisco Neighbors Install 'Anti-Homeless Boulders' Along Sidewalk
The San Francisco poop patrol may have one less street to clean.
Neighbors in the Mission Dolores neighborhood raised approximately $2,000 to place two-dozen boulders along the sidewalk to deter homeless people from camping out and shooting up drugs along their block.
Photo: Julian Mark
"They'll shoot up and stay overnight," resident David Smith-Tan told KTVU, adding "A bunch of my neighbors, we all chipped in a few hundred dollars and I guess this is what they came up with."
A man named Hugh — who like many on the street wanted to be identified only by his first name for fear of retaliation — said that in the six years he’s lived in the neighborhood, he has seen people dealing methamphetamine there. Other times, he said, he’s witnessed drug dealers carrying knives.
Hugh said he could empathize with residents who see the rocks as a way to curb criminal activity. He said drug dealing has “definitely gotten worse” in the past couple of years. -SF Chronicle
Meanwhile, attempts to have the boulders removed have been thwarted after Craigslist removed several ads by SF-based artist Danielle Baskin offering them for free.
Not everyone thinks the boulders are such a hot idea.
"I don’t think this is totally going to work — it’s going to backfire a little bit," resident Audrey Soule told Mission Local, adding "It’s going to be this great camping hangout because there are awesome rocks to sit on."
"What I had noticed is the campers are still squeezing it in here ... Then it forces people to walk all the way around the sidewalk."
Standing near the new boulders, Phillip Bulicek, who is homeless, agreed with Soules. These rocks are inconvenient — but not a real deterrent. “They take up space the tent can take,” he said, explaining that tents will be pitched anyway. “It actually taking up space a person might be able to use.”
“I would like to see [San Francisco Public Works] take these boulders away like they take people’s tents away,” he added. -Mission Local
On Saturday, public works employees hoisted several boulders back onto the sidewalk after people had pushed them into the street.
City workers return boulders to the sidewalk after they were rolled into the street. Neighbors installed the rocks to deter homeless encampments.Photo: Nick Otto / Special to The Chronicle