The Chronicle simply loves to cover the poop beat. After giving us a bunch of handy street-feces statistics back in May, they're back today with a new human-feces map of the Tenderloin that the Department of Public Works used in determining where best to locate three new mobile restroom units, mounted on flatbed trucks, that will operate during prime hours of the day and be staffed by attendants starting today (July 15). Supervisor Jane Kim has been pushing for the program for two years.
The new DPW study happened over four days in April, monitoring the number of piles of shit that were found on various blocks in order to best know where to put the new porta-potties. (As you can see from the map, the greatest concentrations of feces were found on Turk between Leavenworth and Hyde, and on the two blocks bounded by Jones, Mason, Eddy, and Ellis Streets.)
The effort follows on this 2011 map which was also created in conjunction with a push for new "pooplets," or public toilets that would be located in street parking spaces, like parklets. The new survey found that many of the neighborhood's addicts and/or homeless denizens did seek out some kind of privacy when pooping either between parked cars or in alleys or doorways so, the availability of new toilets might actually be a useful thing.
The fully realized pilot program, called Tenderloin Pit Stop and running through January, features mobile bathroom units mounted on trucks and parked at three separate locations. They'll operate from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m., Tuesdays through Fridays, hours which were chosen, it seems, because they represent the most active waking hours of drug addicts, and days when social benefit checks are typically paid out.
Drug use in the toilets will be tolerated it's an inevitability that has been well documented with the existed, French-designed public toilets on our city streets as doors can be locked from the inside and there will be needle disposal bins. But attendants will knock on doors after five minutes to say time is up, and the toilets will be removed for cleaning each night, so they won't be available "for late-night shenanigans," as the Chron puts it.
Jane Kim is pleased to see this program come to fruition, and says, "We're championing our residents' right to clean streets and a safe place to do their business with dignity."
Hopefully the limited-hour program will make Tenderloin streets less poopy, but only time will tell. You can see these mobile toilet trucks roll out at Golden Gate Avenue between Jones and Taylor streets (a block from the St. Anthony Dining Room); Ellis Street between Jones and Taylor, across from Glide Memorial Church; and on noted "hangout" block, Hyde Street between Turk and Eddy, which is also a much-frequented pooping area.