Look around, you can’t miss them.
Giant ugly new 5G towers are starting to take over New York City and, despite attempting to look futuristic, many can’t help but notice just how much of an eyesore the additions to city streets have become.
The columns are gray and color and about 32 feet high, according to a new report by the New York Times, with some dwarfing three-story buildings. And they’re popping up with little to no warning.
“We were shocked because we had no idea what it was,” one store owner in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn said. Marion Little, who owns Stripper Stain & Supplies, says that his customers and neighbors have asked about it.
He told the New York Times: “They’ve been emailing me, calling me weekends, Facebooking me, like, ‘Yo, what’s that?’ and I’m sitting there like, ‘I have no clue.’”
“I wasn’t even quite sure what it was,” another resident told The Times about a tower popping up in his neighborhood. “The buses turn here. It’s going to be easy to miscalculate and hit the thing,” he said of the tower’s placement at a B26 bus stop.
“Never have I heard one mention of residents asking for a tower to be placed where we live,” said Democratic liaison for the 57th Assembly District in Fort Greene Renee Collymore. “Before this tower came, I had fine service. What, a call dropped every now and then? So what. You keep going.”
Another resident in Chinatown called the tower a “monstrosity,” asking “who wants to look at something like that?”
Chelsea Formica, who lives on the Upper East Side, got a call from her husband about it while she was out: “He was like, ‘Hey, you know, they put something up outside of our window. I’m just laying here on the couch and it’s pretty big.’”
When she returned home, she was in disbelief: “I was like, ‘Oh, my God,’ freaking out. It’s huge. It’s so big.”
The towers are part of a deal that New York City has with CityBridge and LinkNYC, which is going to be installing 2,000 of the towers in the city over the next several years. Many of the towers are taking the place of where old payphones used to be. The towers have not been activated yet.
Other towers are going to be placed on top of traffic lights and street lamps, according to the report.
The Times notes that 90% of the new towers will be in “neighborhoods in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and above 96th Street in Manhattan”. They will provide residents with free access to digital calling and Wi-Fi. Carriers like AT&T and Verizon will also be able to use the towers to complement existing infrastructure.