Controversial boulders removed from San Francisco street

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- San Francisco's Department of Public Works have removed the boulders from Clinton Park Alley Monday. The move was at the request of residents on the street, who originally paid for the boulders.

The boulders were in place to prevent large encampments and drug deals from popping up on the sidewalk.

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Many neighbors decided to stay anonymous.

After weeks of having these boulders out, they were threatened online by people who disagree with their solution to keep homeless and drug dealers off their block this way.

Over the weekend the threats were different. An unidentified group pushed the boulders onto the street and today they asked the city to remove them.

The boulders were their way of taking matters into their own hands. However, since then, the boulders have been pushed into the street by people protesting the move. The push back has cost the city money and turned the street into a spectacle.

"People were getting harassed," the neighbor said. "People were out here in the streets in the middle of the night harassing people that were living on the street, like living in the buildings on the street. Also, online. People's jobs were getting contacted."

A public works spokesperson said the agency is working on a long term solution to the homelessness issue in Clinton Park alley.

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"We can't be having city workers coming back to put rocks back," said SF Public Works Director, Mohammed Nuru.

For the last six months, neighbors say they tried to do things the right way. Even San Francisco's Public Works directors says he liked their idea.

"I actually agree that the boulders temporary worked. But the problem is that they were not big enough and were able to be pushed out to the street," said Nuru.

Removing the boulders is Public Works job, but dealing with drug dealers on a sidewalk that falls on San Francisco Police. We contacted and haven't heard back.

"The entire city and part of it is being accountable to address are real challenges and their complaints are centered on people who unfortunately are making their quality of life miserable," said San Francisco Mayor London Breed.

Mayor Breed said she's been working with District 8's supervisor and added that more police activity to stop drug dealers is needed.

"Working together to solve this problem. So you're working with SFPD what are they doing about it? They are aware of the situation we are tracing these emails and they are going to do what they do. Investigate the case and figure out who these individuals are," said District 8 Supervisor, Rafael Mandelman.

According to some neighbors they filed over 300 reports through the city's 311 line and attended several city meetings and in one of those meetings is where they got the unofficial idea to buy the boulders.

So, for now, the city is storing the boulders until they come up with a solution together with the neighbors. According to Public Works Director, the new and improved solution could be bigger boulders or landscape in that area.

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