"It's like Uber," Airpnp co-founder Max Gaudin says, explaining that the current, primitive system is just a website that broadcasts local toilets-for-hire, but the next phase will feature a mobile payment app. In essence, it will privatize a system that's long been the domain of public agencies, offering San Franciscans with smartphones and credit cards the chance to enjoy a new adventure in urinating.

Peeing on a bus, in bamboo, or in some entrepreneur's flushable goldmine: The range of options has never been wider, or weirder, or more telling of the fact that the city's heart follows its bladder. As the toilet economy keeps blossoming from its New Deal origins, better, stranger, costlier (or cheaper) models will evolve. Cultural divisions will deepen. More private homeowners and entrepreneurs will commandeer what was once a public utility to serve rich and poor in the way that unites us all. You can already recognize the city's various dialogues in the bathroom options being installed throughout its neighborhoods.

An average day in St. George Alley, San Francisco's filthiest back street.
Mike Koozmin
An average day in St. George Alley, San Francisco's filthiest back street.
Proving that no city service comes cheap, the renovation of the Portsmouth Square restrooms comes to $1.13 million.
Mike Koozmin
Proving that no city service comes cheap, the renovation of the Portsmouth Square restrooms comes to $1.13 million.

That's something to think about, the next time you're standing in line with your legs crossed: You came for simple relief, but the room itself can never rest.

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18 comments
lfagundes
lfagundes

Another thing that would greatly reduce the amount of waste on the streets would be to require all SF businesses to offer a public toilet. Currently the public restrooms in areas heavily populated by tourists or the homeless are disgusting because they are so heavily used. If all the businesses in those areas opened their toilets to the public, it would alleviate a lot of the problem, and keep all the toilets in a better state, as well as the streets.

Jeremy Baker
Jeremy Baker

Here's an idea get people off living on the streets and now you don't need to build toilets in the street.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

Why doesn't the SF Weekly appear in the More from Voice Nation list of publications at the top of the page, or any of the sister publication pages?


Is the SF Weekly the bastard red-headed stepchild of Voice Media ?


Inquiring minds want to know.

John Lilly
John Lilly

The reason mid-Market (including all the BART station) smells like piss is because they closed all the public bathrooms. If the library is closed, you're screwed. If shop owners don't want people pissing all over the place they should consider providing public restrooms. Common sense.

Erik Johnson
Erik Johnson

It's a tourism planning result. You have to go to a restaurant to use a bathroom.

MarketSt
MarketSt

"San Francisco has a poop problem, Sandoval continues, but the homeless aren't the ones at fault."

You have to repeat this to yourself over and over to have a chance of believing it. It's a glimpse of the peculiar core of the progressive belief system: certain people have absolutely zero responsibility for their own behavior. 


Estela Campos
Estela Campos

I'm so glad I live far from that area. I have not even ever been there. St George Alley!

JohnnyDiablo
JohnnyDiablo

I've never had any problem finding a legitimate toilet any time I needed one in San Francisco.


We're to believe the folks who live there - and theoretically should know their way around - can't find a toilet in a city? 

ben09
ben09

"A swank cosmetology school"


Is that next to the Ivy League barber college?

El_Kite_Pics
El_Kite_Pics

@MarketSt


It's the Tourists who are responsible.


The Homeless live in The City, and they know where all the toilets are.  Couldn't be them doing it.

 
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