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Open-Air, Semi-Enclosed Urinal To Combat Pee Problem At SF Dolores Park

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(credit: sfrecpark.org)

(credit: sfrecpark.org)

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SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) – San Francisco plans to tackle the problem of too many people and not enough toilets at one of the city’s most frequented parks by building what is becoming known as a pPod (‘pee pod’).

The pPod will be a semi-cylinder mesh screen standing seven feet tall, an outdoor urinal with no doors, no backside and very little privacy – and that’s exactly the point.

San Francisco is betting on the pPod to help solve the growing problem of guys peeing in the bushes and on the homes around the ever-popular Dolores Park.

“The idea is get in and get out … no dawdling,” said Jake Gilchrist of the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Dept. “And so by making it a little more public, which clearly the people urinating on the [streetcar] tracks have no problem with privacy, they’ll be in and out as other people are waiting in line to use it.”

In recent years, Dolores Park has become the weekend hangout for the town’s hipsters.

“It gets crazy-busy,” said park Manager Adrian Field. “There’s probably at least 10,000 people on a busy weekend.”

A lot of them are drinking, and with only one bathroom in the park, it’s a problem.

“I don’t fully understand why people feel a need to pee all over the place but people do, and you know, especially people who have been drinking a little bit,” said San Francisco Supervisor Scott Wiener.

Even spending $30,000 a year to bring in portable toilets hasn’t made it easier, with the many portables getting vandalized to the point on not being able to be reused.

The city also plans to build more bathroom stalls in addition to the Pee Pod. “They are going to be in the southwest corner of the park – which is also known as the Gay Beach – so it is a predominately male area of the park,” said Wiener.

Gilchrist said he anticipates seeing pPods installed at other San Francisco parks as well.

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