Dinosaur sculptures pop up in downtown Phoenix, stir up controversy around homeless encampment

The big metal dinosaur sculptures showed up a few days ago, and no one is quite sure where they came from.
Published: Nov. 18, 2022 at 5:25 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - Take a drive along the west side of Downtown Phoenix, and you’ll see many homeless tents and people struggling to get by. One of the last things you’d expect to see is a Triceratops and a Brontosaurus. The big metal dinosaur sculptures showed up a few days ago, and no one is quite sure where they came from.

Christina Clemons thinks the dinosaurs are pretty cool. “I think its wonderful,” said Clemons. “I think it brings a sense of wonder, brings you back to look at mountains and to pre-historic days when this Valley was all ocean.”

There’s been some speculation that whoever put up the dinosaurs is trying to brighten the neighborhood that is surrounded by trash and debris and hundreds of homeless people.

However, Mathew Kesner doesn’t see it that way. He drove in from Mesa to take pictures of the dinosaurs and see what all the fuss is about. He first noticed all the crosses and stakes next to the dinosaurs. Kesner thinks that whoever did this wanted to make sure no one could set up any tents along this side of the street. “They’re pretty disturbing, especially the metal crosses all over,” said Kesner. “It’s obviously an attempt to get the homeless people to not set up their encampment on this side.”

Arizona’s Family reached out to the City of Phoenix Transportation Department and was sent this statement:

Angela Solis says it’s a shame more attention is being paid to the dinosaurs than to all the people struggling to get by. “People always have their eyes closed to what is going on around them,” said Solis. “They’re so in tune with what is going on in their lives, they very rarely decide to go outside to see what’s going on in other people’s lives.”

Since the dinosaurs are located on a right-of-way, it is unclear whether the owner of the property behind the dinosaurs is responsible for putting the sculptures up.