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Pokémon goes to Coronado and stays there

"That horrible game needs to be banned in this perfect town."

A typical recent night on the Orange Avenue median in Coronado
A typical recent night on the Orange Avenue median in Coronado

"I'm sorry but ENOUGH IS ENOUGH," wrote Coronado resident Stephanie Laurel Williams on Facebook on August 23rd. "I am a 49 year old surgeon. I went to Vons to get food for school lunches at 11:30 pm. I left, Orange Ave side at 11:59. Not ONE car on Orange so I went to cross Orange about 3 car lengths from the cross walk and VERY LOUD POLICE MEGAPHONE (mind you 100% louder than any people playing Pokémon Go) tells me to go BACK and walk down the sidewalk to the crosswalk. The ridiculous part of this is I was already in the median, so I had to walk BACK across Orange again. Here's my favorite part. As I was, law abiding, police respecting, waiting for the WALK sign to change, a 'pimped' little Honda goes TEARING down Orange at least 50-60 mph. The officer drove right on by, because apparently me walking across the street was far more dangerous to the community than someone driving double the speed limit. And don't even talk about those rebel Pokémon Go players who were silently going about their business."

Citing reports of attacks on Pokémon Go players, concerns for their safety, and violations of city laws, the Coronado Police Department has instituted a public education campaign using electronic signs and has also installed temporary cameras around the city.

"We want everyone to have fun, we just want them to do it safely," said Lea Corbin of the Coronado Police Department.

Passing drivers have been throwing things from their cars at the hundreds of Pokémon Go players that have been gathering on the large grassy medians along Coronado's main thoroughfare of Orange Avenue, according to calls to the police, Corbin said. This prompted the police to install cameras.

"We only have them up temporarily for the safety of the players, to see what's going on," Corbin said. She said the police have received calls about players "being hit by water balloons, soda cans," thrown by "people in cars, people driving by."

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The police aim to inform the players of city municipal codes such as no smoking, tents, chairs, or littering on public property, no blocking the sidewalks, and of the closing time in public parks. The medians are counted as public parks, Corbin said, and police set up extra electronic signs along Orange Avenue in the past few days to remind the players of these laws.

The signs flash messages such as, “No chairs, canopies or tents” and “No remaining on median 11 p.m.–5 a.m.”

Corbin denied suggestions on social media that the police were directly confronting the players and telling them to leave the median spaces and public park areas when they are closed.

"We haven't been kicking people out," she said. "We just want them to be safe."

There isn't a curfew issue in general because the Pokémon Go players tend not to be underage. "For the most part we are finding these are adults. These are not children," Corbin said.

One local player, Josh Flattem, said, “I think the curfew on the median is just spreading the players to the sidewalks and into cars driving around town.”

For weeks, crowds of hundreds of players have made Coronado a central place to play the game, which is a mobile phone app that leads the players to walk through their surroundings in order to try to capture a Pokémon creature as it appears on their mobile phone screen superimposed over the real-life image of their surroundings.

The Pokémon Go crowds have caused controversy and confusion in the community, with some complaining about the players, some supporting them, and others complaining about the police response.

"These kids keep on playing Pokémon Go by my house, what should I do?" ‎Jacob Luiken said via social media late at night on August 21st. One response, by Drew Hebert, was "Call the cops on their ass, that horrible game needs to be banned in this perfect town. Keep Coronado safe!"; Kati Eckert recommended "Go to sleep."

"Those cameras are incredibly ugly," wrote a critic on Facebook.

"Are we in Coronado or China?," said Cheri Aegerter about the police response. "What next, asking the navy for military support to stop these criminals from playing a game?" Andrea Didi Carasso said, “I find that the effort that CPD [Coronado Police Department] is putting out on this would be better spent on preventing suicide on the Coronado Bridge!”

"Those cameras are incredibly ugly — Especially for first time visitors driving down Orange," said Rob Michael, while Josh Flattem added, “I can't wait till someone complains about those signs cluttering up the town.”

Some think it might all be good for the economy. "It was crowded but quiet and otherwise very peaceful gathering," Heather Kindler Totoro said. "I've also noticed that a lot of folks utilize many of the local businesses while down there.... I'm sure they have seen a surge in business."

The police response has not cost the city anything extra, though calls to the police have increased a lot, Corbin said, adding that mayor Casey Tanaka has not been involved, nor any other elected official, in the police's decision on how to respond to the Pokémon Go phenomenon.

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A typical recent night on the Orange Avenue median in Coronado
A typical recent night on the Orange Avenue median in Coronado

"I'm sorry but ENOUGH IS ENOUGH," wrote Coronado resident Stephanie Laurel Williams on Facebook on August 23rd. "I am a 49 year old surgeon. I went to Vons to get food for school lunches at 11:30 pm. I left, Orange Ave side at 11:59. Not ONE car on Orange so I went to cross Orange about 3 car lengths from the cross walk and VERY LOUD POLICE MEGAPHONE (mind you 100% louder than any people playing Pokémon Go) tells me to go BACK and walk down the sidewalk to the crosswalk. The ridiculous part of this is I was already in the median, so I had to walk BACK across Orange again. Here's my favorite part. As I was, law abiding, police respecting, waiting for the WALK sign to change, a 'pimped' little Honda goes TEARING down Orange at least 50-60 mph. The officer drove right on by, because apparently me walking across the street was far more dangerous to the community than someone driving double the speed limit. And don't even talk about those rebel Pokémon Go players who were silently going about their business."

Citing reports of attacks on Pokémon Go players, concerns for their safety, and violations of city laws, the Coronado Police Department has instituted a public education campaign using electronic signs and has also installed temporary cameras around the city.

"We want everyone to have fun, we just want them to do it safely," said Lea Corbin of the Coronado Police Department.

Passing drivers have been throwing things from their cars at the hundreds of Pokémon Go players that have been gathering on the large grassy medians along Coronado's main thoroughfare of Orange Avenue, according to calls to the police, Corbin said. This prompted the police to install cameras.

"We only have them up temporarily for the safety of the players, to see what's going on," Corbin said. She said the police have received calls about players "being hit by water balloons, soda cans," thrown by "people in cars, people driving by."

Sponsored
Sponsored

The police aim to inform the players of city municipal codes such as no smoking, tents, chairs, or littering on public property, no blocking the sidewalks, and of the closing time in public parks. The medians are counted as public parks, Corbin said, and police set up extra electronic signs along Orange Avenue in the past few days to remind the players of these laws.

The signs flash messages such as, “No chairs, canopies or tents” and “No remaining on median 11 p.m.–5 a.m.”

Corbin denied suggestions on social media that the police were directly confronting the players and telling them to leave the median spaces and public park areas when they are closed.

"We haven't been kicking people out," she said. "We just want them to be safe."

There isn't a curfew issue in general because the Pokémon Go players tend not to be underage. "For the most part we are finding these are adults. These are not children," Corbin said.

One local player, Josh Flattem, said, “I think the curfew on the median is just spreading the players to the sidewalks and into cars driving around town.”

For weeks, crowds of hundreds of players have made Coronado a central place to play the game, which is a mobile phone app that leads the players to walk through their surroundings in order to try to capture a Pokémon creature as it appears on their mobile phone screen superimposed over the real-life image of their surroundings.

The Pokémon Go crowds have caused controversy and confusion in the community, with some complaining about the players, some supporting them, and others complaining about the police response.

"These kids keep on playing Pokémon Go by my house, what should I do?" ‎Jacob Luiken said via social media late at night on August 21st. One response, by Drew Hebert, was "Call the cops on their ass, that horrible game needs to be banned in this perfect town. Keep Coronado safe!"; Kati Eckert recommended "Go to sleep."

"Those cameras are incredibly ugly," wrote a critic on Facebook.

"Are we in Coronado or China?," said Cheri Aegerter about the police response. "What next, asking the navy for military support to stop these criminals from playing a game?" Andrea Didi Carasso said, “I find that the effort that CPD [Coronado Police Department] is putting out on this would be better spent on preventing suicide on the Coronado Bridge!”

"Those cameras are incredibly ugly — Especially for first time visitors driving down Orange," said Rob Michael, while Josh Flattem added, “I can't wait till someone complains about those signs cluttering up the town.”

Some think it might all be good for the economy. "It was crowded but quiet and otherwise very peaceful gathering," Heather Kindler Totoro said. "I've also noticed that a lot of folks utilize many of the local businesses while down there.... I'm sure they have seen a surge in business."

The police response has not cost the city anything extra, though calls to the police have increased a lot, Corbin said, adding that mayor Casey Tanaka has not been involved, nor any other elected official, in the police's decision on how to respond to the Pokémon Go phenomenon.

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