SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) — San Francisco has developed a national reputation for being number one in number two. The city’s human waste problem has become fodder for nasty political tweets and tourist disgust–not to mention hours of expensive cleanup on the streets and sidewalks.
The Department of Public Works began a pilot program Monday in an effort to remedy the problem by keeping the flushes going all night long.
“We will have the bathrooms available around the clock fully staffed and people can use them,” Public Works director Mohammed Nuru told KPIX 5.
Three public restrooms–one at Eddy and Jones Streets, another at 6th Street and Jessie, and a third location in the Castro will remain open 24/7 for three months. They cost $300,000.
“The ultimate measure of a bathroom’s performance is the number of flushes we get.”
Neighbors near Boeddeker Park are in favor.
“I think it’s fine. I think it’s necessary. I think there have got to be a lot more of those,” said David Burcutt.
From 10 p.m. to 6 a.m., the bathroom monitors will be paired up for safety. Locations were chosen based on the number of calls for service Public Works received and the amount of nightlife in the area — and not just on San Francisco’s homeless humanitarian crisis.
“This is not about going specifically about going after a type of population, but it’s about providing a service when people need it,” said Nuru.
The Department of Public Works will report back to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors after the three month program. Public Works and the city will also work to add an additional seven public bathrooms throughout San Francisco.