Locals protest after Walgreens installs planters on sidewalk

September 17, 2023 by No Comments

This weekend Walgreens at Castro & 18th installed planters outside of their shop walls. Like many San Francisco retailers, this isn’t the first time that a shop has used planters to deter homeless sleepers. Based on the image below, the planters weren’t exactly large and didn’t obstruct people from using the sidewalk.

Nonetheless, certain locals weren’t happy and decided to protest against the decision. A group of roughly five people gathered holding signs to demonstrate against the move. The placards read: ‘Planters are not a plan’, ‘Barricading sidewalks is not a solution’, and ‘Shame on you Mandelman.’


The image was originally uploaded to Reddit which prompted a discussion among San Francisco locals. Here, the general consensus welcomed the planters, with the most popular post writing: “That sidewalk has been a pretty uncomfortable stretch for months now. Castro is a tourist destination and you’ll often see tourists taking photos on that block/at that intersection. It’s probably a good thing that there’s an effort being made to clean it up.”

The thread literally created over 500 responses as locals debated the effectiveness of planters and whether the protesters were justified in the decision to go against them. Clearly, there are two arguments at play here. The first is whether these are humane, and the second is whether they actually work. Regardless of this, it is fair to say that based on the online reaction, most people agree with Walgreens, that using planters is completely justified in trying to tackle San Francisco’s homeless problem.

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