Email
Password
Remember meForgot password?
    Log in with Twitter

article imageSan Francisco prepares for Pokemon Go invasion

By Nathan Salant     Jul 20, 2016 in Technology
San Francisco - Even San Francisco, the home of the hippie movement in the 1960s and a long list of oddities after that, has never seen anything like this.
On Wednesday, upwards of 8,000 smartphone-obsessed Pokemon Go players will descend on city streets to pursue their ultimate pastime of the moment.
Yes, it's the Facebook-inspired Pokemon Go Crawl, where throngs use Google maps to find virtual characters in a worldwide contest already intriguing millions of people across the globe.
The San Francisco Bay Area version of the event has already has received RSVPs from nearly 8,000 people and the interest of nearly 30,000 others.
The crawl takes place from 6 p.m. to 1 a.m., centered in the city's South of Market and Mission District neighborhoods.
San Francisco police say they'll be out in force to protect participants after well-publicized incidents involving people getting hurt or attacked while distracted by their phones.
“We will have patrol officers readily available, if need be, for any traffic control or accidents,” San Francisco Police Department spokesman Officer Carlos Manfredi told the San Francisco Chronicle newspaper.
“We will be able to respond quickly,” he said.
Early spots for participants to meet and compare notes include Dolores Park in the Mission and along the waterfront near the Ferry Building, the newspaper said.
“We have extra officers we deploy to roam separately in two-man groups and drive throughout the area monitoring the situation to see if any large groups congregate, cause any problems or traffic issues,” Manfredi said.
“It’s more of a dynamic style of preventative maintenance.”
But safety is its own personal game, and Manfredi advised crawl participants to stay aware and be careful.
“Don’t’ be so fixated looking at that screen,” he said. “When you least expect it is when you get hit, either by a vehicle or a criminal."
Incidents he cited included a July 10 robbery of two cell phones tuned to the game in the city's Portola neighborhood when a thief stole the devices and ran to a waiting car.
Manfredi also advised people to pay attention to individuals around them and to be careful not to bump into trees or parking meters.
Crawl participants are expected to move down Market Street through the city to the Mission, and can expect many businesses along the route to welcome them.
Some even plan special Pokemon deals to entice players to gather.
SoMa StrEat Food Park
at 428 11th Street promises to have food trucks and bars open and reserved seating for players, the newspaper said.
The Myriad Market Hall at 2175 Market St. says it will offer drink and food deals for Pokémon players and allow them to charge their phones.
Ride-sharing service Lyft will offer 20 percent off rides to and from crawl locations, the newspaper said.
More about Pokemon, Pokemon Go, San Francisco, Invasion, market street
More news from
Latest News
Top News