Human feces on San Francisco streets are nothing new — heck, there's even a couple maps out there of the most common places for the stuff, all of which surface at regular intervals at any news organization you can think of. City residents are told to report poop sightings to 311, after which a Rec and Parks staffer will be dispatched to clean up the mess. But crews didn't respond swiftly enough to one situation, parents say, after a massive dump was left at a popular children's playground.
It all went down at Sue Bierman Park, which is located at Washington and Drumm Streets where the on-ramps and off-ramps for the Embarcadero Freeway once stood.
It was a different kind of off-ramping that happened at the park some time late Wednesday/early Thursday, ABC 7 reports, when the staff of a nearby day care brought 12 kids to the popular playground for a morning romp. But when they arrived, daycare director Mary Rosquites says, they found "a huge pile of human feces under the play structure."
Rosquites "covered the mess with baby wipes and did her best to shoo children away. She also called 311 to report the problem," ABC 7 reports.
"I was expecting that it would be cleaned up quite quickly being as it's a health hazard," Rosquites said. But her expectations were dashed, as hours after her report the effluvia remained..in fact, ABC 7 says it took Rec and Parks six hours to clean up the mess.
Parents who spoke with ABC 7 suggested that they were used to issues like Thursday's, with one saying "I mean I never would in a million years let [my child] near a sandbox in the city."
Of course, less cleanup of public poo might be necessary if there were more public restrooms available. That, at least, is the argument of Executive Director of the Coalition on Homelessness Jennifer Friedenbach.
"There's a really severe bathroom shortage in San Francisco, especially at night," she tells ABC 7.
"There's really virtually nowhere for people to use the restroom."
So one suggested solution is more indoor places for people to do their business, but another proposed solution is to offer folks fewer places to go outside. For as SFist readers know, Rec and Parks has reportedly decided to eliminate sandboxes from city parks, citing how frequently they need to be cleaned of broken glass, needles, and human and animal waste. Assuming that happens, that might presumably free Rec and Parks staff up for other tasks, like removing feces from a popular public park in a space of less than six hours.