An experiment in Dolores Park kicks off today: Can six additional toilets curb “pee pushups” and other public urination tricks?
The bet, or hope, is that the Recreation and Park Department’s Sunday delivery of a half-dozen porta-potties will be the answer. They open today, and will be available every day from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., according to Rec and Park spokesman Elton Pon.
The porta-potties were still padlocked on Tuesday — a mean tease to parkgoers looking for an alternative to the park’s two bathrooms or nearby businesses that demand a purchase in exchange for their bathroom key.
Danielle, who visits the park daily, said she always brings a roll of toilet paper with her so she can pee under the 19th Street bridge on the park’s west side.
On Tuesday afternoon, the 24-year-old Mission resident met three friends in the park, dropped her bicycle on the grass and sat down. Just about every nook in sight offers a potential pee spot, they explained.
When the good ones — driveways, trees, stoops and sunken doorways across the street — are taken, they resort to more lewd measures.
“Have you heard of pee pushups?” one of Danielle’s friends asked.
It’s for guys only, she explained, and involves lying down on one’s side, propped up by an elbow, and peeing surreptitiously in the grass. A friend of hers swears by it as a means of relief in Dolores Park. Danielle and her girlfriends just run to the Muni tracks.
The parks department is paying $1,000 to keep the porta-potties in place through November 15. Pon said they’d be serviced daily.
Up until the arrival of the porta-potties, park visitors had to share two toilets per sex. Many users say the bathrooms are often dirty, and lines to use them can run 20 to 30 people deep on sunny days.
At recent neighborhood meetings, residents who live near the park have recounted morning-after horror stories involving feces on their driveways, front steps and even the hoods of cars.
“Our general manager was in attendance at the [community] meeting [last week] and heard very clearly from Dolores Park neighbors that this was a problem that needed immediate attention,” Pon wrote in an e-mail to Mission Loc@l on Tuesday. “This is more about public health and providing clean, safe and fun parks than anything else.”
Sean Rae, taking an afternoon cigarette break on his front stoop on Dolores Street, across from the park’s tennis courts, said he sees a lot of public urination. “Especially guys, pissing everywhere.”
“I would think that more bathrooms in the park would be a good thing,” he added. “The fact is, shit happens — literally.”