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Public Urination Legal in San Francisco

By Christopher Coble, Esq. on February 02, 2016 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

If peeing in public is cool, consider San Francisco to be Miles Davis. The City by the Bay has had a long history battling public urination, and has deployed numerous strategies, from $500 fines to urine-repellant paint, to deter public pissers, with little or no success.

But San Francisco may have finally stumbled upon a solution. The city's (and possibly the nation's) first open air urinal, located in newly renovated Dolores Park. Just in time for the Super Bowl!

Peeing in the Park

Dolores Park had effectively become one large, outdoor public urinal due to its heavy traffic and dearth of restrooms. "On a sunny Saturday, it can host between 7,000 and 10,000 people," said San Francisco Recreation and Park Department spokeswoman Sarah Madland, all of whom were competing for just three toilets.

But the park got its first makeover in 60 years, including 24 additional toilets and one concrete circle, complete with drain and semicircular concrete splash guard, along with a screen and some plants to offer a modicum of privacy between the urinatrix and passing light rail trains. "Honestly, we were ready to go pee anywhere," one resident told the Bay Area's KNTV. "So any facility is better than none."

What a Long Strange Pee It's Been

The AP chronicled some of San Francisco's previous problems with public urination and it's efforts to dissuade micturition on city property. The city painted nearly 30 walls with a special paint that "makes urine spray back on the offender" San Francisco has solar powered toilets that "roll through city streets several afternoons a week." And, after a 30-foot light post corroded by a mix of human and dog urine toppled, city workers have inspected 10,000 other light posts to ensure they won't collapse because of urine erosion.

So here's to hoping that San Francisco has finally found a fix for it's public urination problem. After all, when peeing in public is outlawed, only outlaws will pee in public.

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