A California town south of Oakland has found a new reason to dislike a cell tower. It’s not the fact that it is located next to a public park or down the street from a church and an elementary school. Residents of Castro Valley complained the 60-foot structure, which was designed to look like a Cyprus tree, instead resembles something more phallic in nature, according to the Atlantic Cities.
Nate Berg’s article in the publication even has the playful headline, “Is That a 60-Foot Cell Phone Tower, or Are You Just Happy to See Me?”
“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,” Berg opined. “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.”
The public’s reaction was not lost on the tower owner, T-Mobile, which engaged in several meetings with the county and park personnel during the last six months. Additionally, T-Mobile invited the camouflage vendor, Solar Communications International, out to look at the tower and give some ideas on how it could be redesigned to look more like a Cyprus tree.
“The county came to us and we wanted to be very cooperative with them,” Rod De La Rosa told AGL Bulletin. “It was a very constructive process of discussing what they were looking for in terms of making the tower look more like a Cyprus tree.”
The vendor came up with concept proposal, which was submitted to the county. After some back and forth, a new design was approved. Crews then redesigned the tower to improve its appearance.
De La Rosa isn’t so sure that any type of camouflaging is effective. “I think we had it right a long time when they looked like a steel monopole,” he said. “When you try to make a tower look like something different, you call more attention to it.”