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San Francisco Park Features City's First Open-Air Urinal

The simple structure of the open-air urinal is common in Europe, but a new addition to San Francisco.

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    San Francisco's popular Dolores Park reopened late Wednesday, drawing hundreds of visitors to check out the renovations. But it was a new public urinal at the park that had people talking. Kim Yonenaka reports. (Published Thursday, Jan. 28, 2016)

    San Francisco's popular Dolores Park reopened this week, drawing hundreds of visitors to check out the renovations. But it was a new public urinal, and its out-in-the-open location at the park, that had people talking.

    The urinal is out in the open, right next to the Muni tracks on 20th and Church streets. Park-goers said while it takes a little getting used to, something needed to be done because people previously were going to the bathroom out in public.

    "Honestly, we were ready to go pee anywhere," San Francisco-resident Aaron Cutler said. "So any facility is better than none."

    The simple structure of the urinal is common in Europe, but a new addition to San Francisco. The city's park and recreation department installed it at the park because of ongoing problems with people urinating on buildings and in bushes.

    Dolores Park's renovations include a new public urinal. (Jan. 27, 2016)

    The urinal is part of $20 million in renovations at Dolores Park -- the first upgrades at the park in 60 years. The park reopened late Wednesday. 

    "The more options we can give them to relieve themselves the better for the park-goers," San Francisco Supervisor Scott Wiener said. "The better it is for neighbors."

    Dolores Park is one of the city's more popular spots. Sunny days can draw up to 7,000 visitors. Aside from irrigation and beautification, the park used to have just three toilets. It now features 27, including the public urinal.

    The new urinal unveiled is not near the playground and parents do not seem too worried about the exposure it brings.

    "I think they'll be going to the bathroom and moving on," San Francisco-resident Kristine Hallet said.