Tech Workers, Walking, Loneliness: What's Ruining Our Cities This Week

Those damn dot-commers are still mucking up San Fran, parents are passing along their dangerous pedestrian ways to the next generation, a giant suitcase is an eyesore in Red Square, and—sigh—we're all so lonely. These things and more are What's Ruining Our Cities.

Tech riches are ruining San Francisco

This is not a new tale by any means, but here we go again. People who make money in the tech industry are messing with San Francisco's bohemian vibe, and the bohemians are pissed: "Resentment simmers, at the fleets of Google buses that ferry workers to the company's headquarters in Mountain View and back; the code jockeys who crowd elite coffeehouses, heads buried in their laptops; and the sleek black Uber cars that whisk hipsters from bar to bar." [New York Times]

People walking their kids to school are ruining Tennessee

When a Cumberland County, Tennessee, school mandated that parents needed to line up their cars in an orderly fashion to pick up their kids, Jim Howe didn't want to wait in the traffic jam. He decided to pick up his kids using a radical transportation method—on foot. When he was told he had to wait in line with the cars, even though he was walking, Howe threw a fit. The deputy sheriff managing traffic handcuffed Howe and put him in the back of his police car. Bonus: Howe's fiancee took a video of the whole thing going down. [Switchboard]

A giant Louis Vuitton suitcase is ruining Moscow

A 100-foot-long, 30-foot-tall steamer case that Louis Vuitton installed in Moscow's Red Square is not earning many fans. The nearby GUM department store has asked LV to remove the structure, calling it "alien" and "indecent." Russian actor Maxim Vitorgan calls the steamer case "a symbol of vulgarity" that's out of character in the square, symbolizing "pink tights, rhinestones, Rolex and Bentley, or whatever else you need to be seen as cool." Because there are none of those things in Moscow. [Businessweek]

Loneliness is ruining all cities, everywhere

Well, this story is a real bummer. Even though we're living in denser places, and technology allows us to be connected to more people on a daily basis, we're more isolated than ever. Two different studies say that 40 percent of Americans say they're lonely, a figure that has doubled in the last 30 years. Shaheen Shivji recently moved to British Columbia but says she was happier living in Kabul—where there were bombs exploding outside her house. [The Globe and Mail]

Sending a message in San Francisco, photo by Erika Hall