When we first wrote about that new open-air urinal in Dolores Park we were left with a host of unanswered questions. Like, is the thing still under construction? How come it's see-through? How is it cleaned? How often will it be cleaned? Is it intentionally a peep-show for Gay Beach goers and Muni riders, or just accidentally one?
The urinal, or pissoir, was (in our opinion) appropriately included in the redesign of the park to address the steady stream of individuals micturating in the bushes by the Muni tracks. However, we were just as surprised as our readers to see how much the final product pictured above differed from the original proposal.
Thankfully, a kind soul over at the Recreation & Parks Department got back to us on some of our more pressing questions regarding what has become a national sensation.
Joey Kahn, the department's Public Affairs Manager, provided us with some key pissoir-factoids. First off: Yes, the thing is finished and plants will grow up around it to provide privacy soon enough.
"The plants on the pissoir will grow similarly to ivy over the next several months to provide for additional privacy," says Kahn. "In addition to the 27 toilets (up from 4) we’ve installed at Dolores Park, the pissoir gives an alternative that is more civilized than urinating in public."
The plants are apparently Trumpet Vines — and we will all soon know if they're "urine tolerant."
As for the maintenance of the urinal, Kahn informs us that "[there] are water spigots in the pissoir that go on once an hour to ‘flush’ out the pissoir. Additionally, gardening and custodial staff will maintain the area."
So, there you have it. The peep show will be over as soon as the plants grow in, and the pissoir will be auto-flushed once an hour. Have fun, everyone!
Previously: Photo Du Jour: First Look At Dolores Park's New Pissoir
SF's First Open-Air Urinal Makes National Headlines