Late-night drunken revelers of San Francisco beware — A pee-proof paint job is in the works. Apparently, the city is tired of dealing with public urination and decided to take a proactive approach. Fines weren’t working, so San Francisco decided to follow the example set by Hamburg, Germany.
The city of Hamburg coated buildings with a unique urine-repellent paint. What happens is that when an individual decides to “whizz” on a wall, the paint causes their urine to quite literally bounce off. The building is protected from smelling like pee and the guilty party ends up with urine on their shoes and pants. Not too surprisingly, the pee-proof paint job cut down on the public urination-related woes of Hamburg.
Now, San Francisco is hoping the paint will do the same for its city buildings.
— CNN (@CNN) July 25, 2015
While a number of residents are applauding the decision, there may be an unintended negative consequence for a large and relatively ignored group of San Francisco natives: the homeless. There are concerns that homeless men and women may the ones most affected by the new paint job. In an article called “Peeing Is Not A Crime”, Daniel Denvir called efforts to police public urination “a waste of money.”
“Citing people for public urination criminalizes someone for doing something that society, the state, and the market effectively encourages by making public restrooms scarce.
That’s a hallmark of broken windows policing: punish low-level crimes that are born of necessity or, sometimes, just understandable convenience.”
Instead of doling out cash for a slew of pee-proof paint cans, some believe that the issue of public urination would easily be solved if public restrooms were readily available. Rather than seek inspiration from Hamburg’s special paint, San Francisco could have followed the example of these cities.
Regardless of how some feel about San Francisco putting up a pee-proof paint, the fact remains that cleaning urine from city walls is a pricey problem. Since the start of 2015, Public Works has received about 375 requests to steam-clean pee from different areas of the city. San Francisco has already begun the pee-proof paint job, coating nine walls thus far.
However, some wonder if the money saved on cleaning urine could go towards the greater availability of public restrooms.
Said Denvir, “People who pee outside often would prefer to pee inside.”
Do you agree with a pee-proof paint job or do you think more public restrooms are the answer? Share your thoughts below!
[Image Credit: Ezra Shaw / Getty Images]