By on August 7, 2015

 

Decades of (hopefully) dog urine have sped corrosion at the base of Bay Area light poles and four posts have fallen over in a pee-soaked heap, KTVU is reporting (via Boing Boing). No injuries have been reported due to the terrible tinkle tumbles.

City officials have replaced 160 poles on several streets due to corrosion on the aging poles. One collapsed pole Monday damaged a car.

The massive eroding power of urine, and probably thinner metal — which doesn’t have the alliterative power of pee-pee poles plunging — are to blame.

The falling poles are only part of the problem. San Francisco officials are combatting public urination with hydrophobic paint on favorite public peeing stations.

Reminder: We live in a civilized society, people. Pee on the cast-iron hydrants.

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62 Comments on “Falling Light Poles Have Bay Area People Pissed...”


  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Only in the People’s Republic of Kalifornia.

  • avatar
    319583076

    One night, walking down 50-something street in NYC, I came upon a man pissing on the side of a building. He was too intoxicated to notice me, but his buddy ‘had his back’ and screamed, “My buddy’s pissing on this building! What are you gonna do about it?!”. The poorly parked car idling at the curb wore Jersey plates. Bridge and Tunnel crowd – pissing all over our city because theirs is mired in something worse.

  • avatar
    wmba

    The truth about lamp posts. When cars are not enough.

  • avatar
    OneAlpha

    Light poles falling over due to urine corrosion?

    Ain’t that a pisser.

  • avatar
    korvetkeith

    Those poor SF dogs, soon they won’t have a pole to piss on.

  • avatar

    Bay Area: urine over your head!

  • avatar
    carlisimo

    The salt fog from the bay corrodes everything here, but slowly – throw in another source of corrosion and expected service life goes way down. Unfortunately, it probably wasn’t just dogs. We’ve had a lot of homeless people ever since governor Reagan shut down the state’s mental health system, and we’ve got other states bussing in their own homeless by giving them one-way tickets. Ever since the credit crunch and recession it’s been worse, and the recovery has been accompanied by ludicrous housing prices so it hasn’t really helped.

    I’m jealous of the clean downtowns that a lot of other 1st-world countries seem to have.

    • 0 avatar
      jpk112

      Hey it is 2015, Reagan left office in 1976, I think we could have solved the mental Health problem by now if we really wanted to! So back in December I am meeting some friends in the Russian Hill area of S.F. to watch a game and park on a side street. A homeless man proceeds to drop pants and defecate between my car and a new GTI, around the corner was parked a late model Aston Martin, love the City.

      Do you know that you can get a app to try and help avoid the human poop in the City! Way to represent San Francisco. Oh and on to the whole Mental Health issue it was actually started by Brown the first.

      • 0 avatar
        stuki

        Mental Health, Schmental Health. There’s not a single involuntary homelessness problem virtually anywhere that couldn’t be solved by simply getting rid of silly zoning laws. Winner’s Curse would guarantee a plentiful supply of dwellings for anyone, pretty much anywhere.

        The problem in SF, like elsewhere, is that noone cares about solving the homelessness problem. They want to appear to care about solving the homelessness problem. Which giving the homeless a home, would put a bit of a crimp on.

  • avatar
    thelastdriver

    Happens all the time here in “The Rustbelt”. Many of the cast alloy and welded/bolted bases give way in East Cleveland due to neglect.

  • avatar
    Ryoku75

    I have to say that Honda took that light pole pretty well.

    Who wants to bet it’ll end up auctioned, brought, and sold by some shady dealer with a little duct tape over the windshield?

    $2500 RUNS AND DRIVES NO CHECK ENGINE LIGHT

    • 0 avatar

      1. The stanchion for the signs on the pole kept most of the weight off of the car.

      2 The impact point was at the cowl, one of the strongest parts of the car.

    • 0 avatar
      the_newt

      That’s what they get for parking six feet from the curb. Or having the worst possible luck to have been waiting at that intersection.

      Related, the city may not have to compensate anyone if they can use another state’s decision as a precident.

      http://jalopnik.com/5945455/texas-road-sign-trashes-womans-lexus-but-state-says-we-aint-payin

      • 0 avatar
        watermeloncup

        I live very near there, in fact my car was parked on the opposite end of this very block when this happened. Based on the design of the intersection, the driver of this car was probably waiting at the light when the pole fell. It’s pretty lucky that a car happened to be there rather than a motorcycle or pedestrian.

        Google Street View of the intersection, which shows the doomed post:

        https://www.google.com/maps/@37.79055,-122.412258,3a,75y,324.88h,66.29t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1soJssL3koW66KUAUAtARABw!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      It’s a very base model one, look at the wheel covers. Wonder if it’s a manual!

  • avatar
    PeriSoft

    Here I thought it was unrealistic how easy it was to knock the light poles over in GTA V, but it turns out the things just fall over on their own in real life!

  • avatar

    Now that people have been socialized to believe that owning a dog means having to walk around carrying feces in a bag, I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a campaign (or laws) urging dog owners to carry spray bottles of cleaning and rinsing solutions so they can clean off any object Rover might spray.

    Owners of those almost feral, not quite domesticated, creatures known as cats will undoubtedly be exempt.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      Ronnie,
      I agree with you regarding cats. They are good for nothing that poison can’t eradicate.

      Maybe dog owners should have a levy imposed on them to cover the costs of the damage to the light poles.

      You would be annoyed at me if my dog constantly pi$$ed on your car and caused premature corrosion. Or if my dog drop a turd on your doorstep every morning.

      I remember as a kid the many times I trod in a dog turd. How often does it happen now, like getting a flat tyre.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      Cats don’t tend to pee on fixed objects, though. They find patches of dirt instead.

  • avatar
    sgeffe

    No, Bud Light!

    Same light pole at the corner of Jackson and Erie streets in downtown Toledo has fallen TWICE in the 23+ years I’ve worked in the adjacent Government Center building. The first time, IIRC, it damn near chopped the entire front-end (forward of the cowl) of a mid-’90s Explorer clean off!

    Considering the lack of roof-crush standards back then, thank goodness the passenger compartment wasn’t under the damn thing!

    • 0 avatar
      nrd515

      I’ll have to take a look at the one lightpole on my street in Maumee. It gets a LOT of “action” from all the dogs running around and being walked. My dogs (all gone now), especially my last one, had to do a lot of damage to it. The base is all red with rust. His piss was like battery acid. He pissed all over a pile of military grade PC boards I had rescued from a dumpster years before without me knowing he did it for a while, and it ate some of the copper off to the point it was gone! It looked like some oddball modern art, where someone took green paint and splashed it all over a sheet of copper.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    People don’t usually p!ss on light poles, especially on a somewhat busy corner. Why would women do that?? There’s zero privacy and cops can spot them from blocks away and 4 different directions. It may be the dogs, salty mist, or most likely the lowest bidding contractor with poles/hardware from China.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    I agree with Denver Mike it might be Chinese made light poles made from recycled steel. I bet these poles are thinner metal as well. This is planned obsolescence to the extreme.

    Big Al I didn’t realize you hated cats. The cats I have owned have been very friendly and like people. I have had 2 Bengal cats that liked people better than other cats, both very friendly and talkative.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      Jeff,
      I don’t think the corrosion issue is due to whether the steel is from the US or China.

      It is due to the use of a lighter gauge material. To reduce the weight of the metal it must be stronger. To achieve this the carbon content must increase. The more steel is alloyed with carbon the more it is susceptible to corrosion.

      So, I do believe DiM has made a cheap passing shot at the Chinese and it also highlights his lack of knowledge regarding the use of materials.

      In Australia cats are terrible. The indigenous animals have a new apex carnivore to contend with. They are killing off many species. They are vermin.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        @BAFO – China sourced tools and steel hardware are inferior to those from the US and Germany. That’s not even open for debate. It wasn’t a dig at the Chinese, just a fact. And just how many times have you blathered on about the *Chinese transmission* in your BT50GTSi pickup and current Mustangs??

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          DiM,
          I have yet to see a chrome vanadium steel lamp post.

          There is a huge difference in metallurgy between tooling and basic construction metals.

          Is this article about sockets, ratchets, etc or lamp posts??

          Doh, another Homer moment from the bright and illustrious.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            BAFO, steel tools and transmission gears are perfectly admissible/relevant within the thread. The reasons you want them thrown out are obvious.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          DiM,
          I do think the issue surrounding the Getrag MT82 has not much to do with the Chinese or the materials used, moron.

          The transmission was designed by the Germans and there is/was a design flaw.

          The same gearbox is made in the UK and exhibited the same problems as the Chinese manufactured box.

          Plus the box is manufactured under licence by Ford. So, maybe Ford is to blame on this one.

          I also do think UK engineering is world class.

          Moron, use the internet and find out, instead of spruikng your usual bull$hit of little truth or value.

          Moron. That suits you down to a “T”.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @BAFO – You can “think” it was a design flaw by Getrag except it’s the softness of the gears. Look into it before spouting off.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            DiM,
            Are you trolling or just being a MORON?

            I’ll explain what has occurred to the MT82.

            Here are some concepts you must able to comprehend.

            1. Torque is transferred through shafts. A gearbox has several shafts.

            2. When torque is applied to a gear, each tooth acts as an inclined plane. What occurs is as torque is applied to a gear the gear will inherently attempt to produce an axial load. Bearing prevent this and the enables a shaft to continually rotate, with minimal friction/resistance.

            3. There are many types of bearing/bushes. In the case of bearings the primary bearings are, ball, roller and tapered.

            4. Each of these bearings are designed to tolerate axial or thrust loads.
            a. Ball, a ball bearing is designed primarily to manage thrust and axial loads.

            b. Roller, a roller bearing is designed to accept axial loads only. Gearboxes.

            c. Tapered, are designed to accept primarily thrust loads, ie, front wheel bearing on a car.

            The problem encountered with the MT 82 was one of the shafts rear bearings could not adequately support the axial loads placed on it.

            Brinnellng occurred and the bearing failed.

            This has little to do with the quality of the material used in the gears.

            I do suspect that these bearings came from a common supplier to both the UK and China.

            Simple. So stop with your constant effing bull$hit and trolling.

            MORON.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            DiM,
            Since Ford has the licence to manufacture the MT82.

            Who do you think is accountable???

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @BAFO – Exactly *what* do you think the weak bearings are made of? Thank you.

            Ford and Getrag probably blame each other. Don’t know, don’t care.

    • 0 avatar
      319583076

      In my experience, government and government-like agencies are very good at writing specifications and verifying vendor performance. Additionally, federal government contracts specify US steel must be used for domestic projects. They require mill certification of every stick, plate, and bolt.

      But why let information get in the way of casual racism? It seems you’re already very confused and frustrated about the incongruencies between reality and your world view.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        Are you sure about any of that? And what makes think it was a Federal contract?

        • 0 avatar
          319583076

          I don’t think it was a Federal contract you moron – CA DOT and SF city government probably follow likewise specs and procedures. CA DOT stuff is probably available on the web – if you’ve got the inclination to look, read, and think.

          My POINT is – whatever agency is responsible for these poles probably doesn’t take a pickup to Harbor Freight to buy them. Savvy?

          I’ve been involved in steel construction and engineering for over 20 years. The specs and procurement processes are hinderances, but they preclude the sort of garbage you’re implying.

          What do you do, Mike in Denver? Has it ever occurred to you that many people and organizations in this world have thought about and solved some of these problems? That some of these people are more clever and creative at solving problems than you?

          You’re a xenophobic bozo.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            I’m racist now? A xenophobe?? Where are you even getting that??? Slow your roll. This started out as casual, light conversation, and you’re taking it to atomic levels. And I’m at Harbor Freight almost every day. I’m on a 1st name basis with everyone there. The cashier has my phone number memorized. Is it the cheapest stuff in town (by a long shot) because it as good as everything else?

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        In the broadest terms, governments are good at procurement (US DOD notably excepted), and bad at maintenance, because maintenance is not something sexy that politicians can tout on the campaign trail. This is poor maintenance of very old infrastructure.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          dal20402,
          Yep, agree, more management of assets, cost cutting.

          You see this in many departments of government. Run buildings into the ground with minimal maintenance. Even here in Australia.

  • avatar
    indi500fan

    This sounds like a job for local hero Elon Musk – composite light poles.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    @Big Al–I don’t think the issue is that the steel is US or Chinese as much as the amount of recycled steel and the thickness of the steel that is used in making these poles. The Chinese manufacturers are more prone to use less quality material in order to make a product that is lower in price. It is not that the Chinese aren’t capable of making good products it is more that they take shortcuts to make a product in order to sell it cheaper.

    As for feral cats they are no different than other animals that are not native to an environment. Where I live people will dump dogs in the country that they no longer want because they think the animal will be happier in the country and can survive on its own. Dogs will run in packs and kill livestock in order to survive. Farmers will go out and shoot these dogs not because they hate dogs it is because they pose a threat to their livestock. Any creature that is not native to an environment can be a threat to native creatures in that environment. One only has to look at Florida that is being overrun with Anacondas that will kill a full size alligator. A house cat and a dog that is not wild are much different than a feral cat or dogs that run in packs.

  • avatar

    I was in Tblisi Georgia (the country) and remember walking around and finding a path that would save me a good hike if I followed the road. As I ventured down the path I caught a pretty strong sent of urine, so I took the road. I’m all for peeing outside (as every real man is), but I don’t know if it works out well in urban environments. One shouldn’t be able to smell pee outside.

  • avatar
    JamesGarfield

    /* Begin Joke Alert */

    An old woman was walking down the sidewalk in San Francisco, dragging two large green Hefty garbage bags. She passed by a shrubbery and one of the bags tore open, and it began spilling $20 bills across the street. A police officer passing by saw this, made a quick U-turn and stopped the woman.

    “Hey lady,” he called to her, “you’re ahh… dropping money all over the street!”

    She looked down, shrugged, and started retrieving the bills. The cop said to her, “Sorry, but I have to ask you, what’s with this money???”

    The old lady says, “I’m going to the bank to deposit it. I live next to a game stadium in Russian Hills. I guess they don’t have enuf bathrooms in the stadium ‘cuz the drunks come out and wizz on the light pole in front of my house. Bad for the poles, ya know, makes ’em fall down someday. So I sit out there hiding behind my hedge. When they come up to take a wizz, I whip out my hedge clippers over their wackers and tell ’em TWENTY BUCKS OR YA LOOZE IT!”.

    The cop shudders at that mental image for a moment. Then he asks her, “Ok… so what’s in the other bag?”

    She shrugs and says, “Sometimes, they don’t pay… ”

    /* End Joke Alert */

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