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Anti-Homeless Landscaping
Boulders Being Placed in San Francisco


Benches such as these are very common in large cities and are often installed to limit homeless loitering while still providing a place to sit. Notice the armrests limit the possibility of lying down horizontally.

Cities across the nation, and across the world, are applying a new tactic to discourage homeless encampments by using landscaping fixtures such as rocks, spiky plants and bike racks.

The Department of Public Works in San Francisco recently installed $8,700 worth of boulders under the overpass of Cesar Chavez Street. These strategically placed rocks are aimed at halting future homeless encampments in this area, a long time hotspot that has garnered the name the "Hairball." The rocks also serve as a more cost efficient method of dealing with the homeless because previously the public works department would conduct "weekly clean ups" of this area.

San Francisco follows other cities, like Seattle and San Diego, by adopting these types of landscape fixtures to combat homelessness. In Seattle, bike racks were utilized, in San Diego, small rocks were used and in many countries around the world, like England and China, we see the very same thing happening.

Opponents argue that this method of expulsion is inhumane and, instead of pushing the homeless further and further away, the problem should be addressed in a more accepting way. However, for now San Francisco will continue to incorporate more boulders around the city, as stockpiles of large rocks are awaiting their distribution.

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August 18, 2019, 12:52 am PDT

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