Shoes on Utility Lines
According to a June 17, 1999 article in the Arizona Daily Star, opinions are mixed as to the meaning behind shoes strung overhead on power lines. Some community members think that the shoes denote gang or drug activity in neighborhoods, but the Arizona Daily Star article quotes a Tucson Police Department officer as saying that no evidence currently substantiates this claim.
Regardless of their meaning, shoes strung on utility lines can be dangerous if they come in contact with high-voltage power lines, and may cause power outages. Tucson Electric Power (TEP) cautions residents from trying to remove the shoes themselves due to the risk of electrocution. If shoes are observed on utility lines in your neighborhood, please call TEP at (520) 623-7711. TEP will remove the shoes. If they are in good condition, they will be donated to a local non-profit agency; if they are in poor condition, they will be disposed of.
Fischer, Alan D. "Loose ends: decoding those shoes overhead." Arizona Daily Star (Tucson), June 17, 1999, sec. News.