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San Francisco can’t seem to shake its poop problem despite spending millions on public toilets

by

Daily Caller News Foundation

Despite spending millions of dollars on public restrooms, San Francisco is still seeing tens of thousands of incidents involving poop on the street, according to a local outlet.

San Francisco saw over 32,000 calls involving feces on the streets in 2023, despite the city’s Public Works Department and its Recreation and Park Department maintaining 46 stand-alone public toilets at an average cost of $100,000 per location, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. The city had a total of 22 such sites in 2018, when there were under 26,000 calls.

“It unfortunately never leaves my mind,” bartender Adam Kedzorski told the Chronicle, relating an instance where he had to discard a pair of shoes after his son stepped in poop on the sidewalk.

The continued reports of feces on public streets coincide with a continuing homelessness crisis that has increasingly plagued the city. In 2023, the total homeless population was 7,754, up from 6,858 in 2017, according to statistics released by the city.

San Francisco has seen several significant incidents involving homeless people, including one where a former fire commissioner was allegedly attacked by a homeless person who was later acquitted of charges. A homeless pedophile camped in front of a school with signs offering fentanyl and methamphetamine.

The prevalence of feces on San Francisco sidewalks led to the creation of a “poop map” that was famously wielded by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida during a November 2023 debate with Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom of California.

“We could always use more public toilets,” Rachel Gordon, a spokeswoman for the San Francisco Public Works Department, told the Chronicle. “I think nobody would disagree with that assessment.”

One expert told the Chronicle that the city needed to expand its program of public restrooms, claiming that a lack of facilities was motivated by racism.

“We got rid of them to disappear the people who used them who we thought were a problem,” Bryant Simon, a professor at Temple University writing a book on public restrooms, told the Chronicle after claiming that earlier investments in public toilets were reduced to target homeless people and nonwhites. “Now you have open defecation, which everyone is affected by and we’re using bathrooms to try to put a Band-Aid on the problem.”

The city cancelled plans to build a single public toilet after costs hit $1.7 million for the structure in January following intervention by Newsom, who later released the funds on the provision they be used to build multiple units, the New York Times reported.

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Republished with permission from Daily Caller News Foundation