Someone tried to declare a popular San Francisco tourist destination a ‘no tech zone’
Chances are if you’ve visited San Francisco’s Alamo Square you probably weren’t able to resist taking your phone out to snap a photo of the famous Victorian “Painted Lady” houses visible from the outskirts of the park.
It seems not everyone is too fond of relentless selfie-taking at the popular tourist attraction — or maybe just tech obsession in the city in general — because a sign appeared in the square declaring a “no tech zone.” Though the sign has since been taken down, it read: “No cell phones, tablets, laptops or smart devices permitted. Violators subject to $300 fine.”
Most mysteriously, the sign did not come from the city, despite how official it looked. The city’s Recreation and Parks Department spokeswoman Connie Chan assured CBS San Francisco that it was not posted by any city agency.
Though the sign is gone some see it as yet another symbol of the ongoing schism between the city’s longtime residents and the influx of highly-paid tech workers who have come to the Bay Area.
As the number of techies who buy and rent in San Francisco and commute to the Silicon Valley has exploded, neighborhoods have rapidly gentrified, rents have skyrocketed, and evictions became plentiful. Tension was quick to follow.
Last year, the city saw a string of protests against Google’s shuttle buses, which use San Francisco municipal bus stops to pick up employees and drive them to work at the company’s Mountain View headquarters every morning. Data has shown that the bus stops are associated with a rise in costs in their surrounding neighborhoods.
Marie Leroy, a French tourist, came to Alamo Square hoping to catch a glimpse of the sign, but to no avail — it was taken down as early as Tuesday after first being spotted on Monday by a tipster who sent the photo to Hoodline.
“I had heard all about how people here don’t really like the tech world and I thought it would have been neat to post this to my friends,” she told The Guardian.
If the mystery person behind the sign intended it to be a means of artistic protest, they chose a prudent location for their exhibition — Alamo Square is just half a block from one of the Google bus stops.
Author: Kimberly Truong