Residents of Castro Valley, California, demand a redesign of a phallus-like cell tower.

Residents in Castro Valley, California, don't like what they see popping up into the air next to a public park and down the street from a church and elementary school. Intended to resemble an Italian cypress tree, a 60-foot cell phone communications tower – long and slender, with a slightly rounded tip – has struck many locals in this town just south of Oakland more like a part of the human anatomy than a part of the mobile communications infrastructure.

As can be seen in this picture, the tower does bear a slight resemblance to a penis – a 60-foot-tall metal penis, that is.

"It's ridiculous. Little girls point and laugh," a mechanic at the gas station next to the tower told the San Francisco Chronicle.

The outcry over the tower's phallus-like appearance has become so loud in the six months since it was erected that its owner, T-Mobile, recently sent out a crew to add some new "branches" to the structure to make it look more like a tree and less like a penis.

"When I first saw it, I thought it looked like a tree," T-Mobile Rod De La Rosa told the Chronicle. "But we want to be good neighbors, so we'll make the changes."

In a recent article, I bemoaned the lack of appreciation we give cell phone towers despite their increasingly crucial role in our highly connected lifestyles so dependent on information accessible whenever and wherever we want it. While it's nice to see that some extra attention is being paid to this important infrastructure, it's a little disappointing – though not particularly surprising – that it all boils down to a dick joke.

Photo credit: marekusz /Shutterstock

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Transportation

    How Seattle Bucked a National Trend and Got More People to Ride the Bus

    Three experts in three very different positions weigh in on their city’s ridership success.

  2. Design

    Experimental City: The Sci-Fi Utopia That Never Was

    With solar energy, recycling, computers, and personal mass transit, the 1960s-era Minnesota Experimental City was a prescient and hopeful vision of the urban future. A new documentary tells its story.

  3. Equity

    The Side Pittsburgh Doesn't Want You to See

    Pittsburgh filmmaker Chris Ivey has spent over twelve years documenting the lives of the people displaced so that the city can achieve its “cool” status.  

  4. Life

    Meet the High-Tech Buses of Tomorrow

    They’re zero-emissions. They drive themselves. And they’re longer than a blue whale. Can the humble city bus get a modern makeover?

  5. Transportation

    If You Drive Less Than 10,000 Miles a Year, You Probably Shouldn't Own a Car

    Up to one-quarter of all U.S. drivers might be better off using ride-sharing services instead.