San Francisco’s streets are being transformed into one big toilet bowl and the city’s officials are responding by increasing the number of “poop patrols.”
“It’s getting worse, and people are tolerating it,” Joe D’Alessandro, who heads San Francisco Travel, told the San Francisco Chronicle. “People come here thinking of this as the center of innovation and entrepreneurship, and they see a street scene that looks like something out of a Third World country.”
People with mental illness are a major contributing factor to the pubic defecation problem. Defecating in public is treated as an infraction akin to a parking ticket. The Chronicle notes that these tickets are often ignored by those who receive them.
“The last few months,” Director of San Francisco Public Works Mohammed Nuru told the Chronicle, “we are seeing some literally crazy people on our streets.” He explained the challenges associated with unfruitful attempts to communicate with these folks. “They are not the type of people who should be on the streets,” Nuru said.
The Chronicle lists part of San Francisco Public Works’s plan to battle the public defecation, which includes:
- Concentrating steam-cleaning crews in downtown S.F. These crews will respond to any cleanup calls within one hour between the hours of 6 a.m. and 6 p.m.
- Adding a third crew to the “hot spot” team which will to tackle unsanitary homeless encampments that have popped up everywhere from South of Market to the Civic Center.
- The addition of 18 new city workers to regularly clean 80 of the most neglected alleys which will cost nearly $3 million
- Expansion of the city’s mobile public toilet program which will keep the restrooms clean and safe.
In September of last year, the budget for the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) system received a boost to hire workers that would help clean the urine and feces in the Bay Area’s heavily trafficked train stations.
Last month, the city’s Public Works department coated nine of San Francisco’s most pissing-prone walls with pee-repellant paint that sprays the pee right back onto their shoes and pants when they attempt to urinate on them. The walls that “pee back” have so far proven to be successful at deterring the unsavory act.