SF to Test-Run 24-Hour Public Pit Stop Restrooms, Starting in the Tenderloin - NBC Bay Area
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SF to Test-Run 24-Hour Public Pit Stop Restrooms, Starting in the Tenderloin

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    SF to Test-Run 24-Hour Public Pit Stop Restrooms

    San Francisco's new idea to clean up city streets is better access to a public restrooms, and it's starting in what's been the hardest hit part of the city. Christie Smith reports. (Published Thursday, June 20, 2019)

    San Francisco's new idea to clean up city streets is better access to public restrooms, and it's starting in what's been the hardest hit part of the city.

    At Golden Gate and Hyde streets, a pit stop restroom is expanding its hours, opening up around the clock, and that's a big deal to people in the neighborhood.

    "The neighborhoods I represent have a huge problem with human feces, people using the bathroom on sidewalks and streets," Supervisor Matt Haney said. " A lot of that is happening at night."

    San Francisco streets have made headlines over complaints about used needles and human waste. Mayor London Breed, in her budget proposal, said she wants to expand the pit stop program.

    "What we have won so far is a pilot program; 3 months in the Tenderloin, 24 hours," Haney said. "And we think we will be able to demonstrate that this is something that’s needed."

    The pit stops started in 2014, and five years later, there are 25 in the city that are staffed but close at night.

    Rachel Gordon, with the Department of Public Works, says all sorts of people use them such as night workers and ride share drivers. But there is a reason they haven't done this before.

    "One of our biggest concerns and why we haven’t moved to a 24-hour pit stop in the last five years is safety," Gordon said. "Some of these are challenging neighborhoods."

    During the test period, the pit stop will be staffed with two people instead of one, and they can track the number of flushes to see how well it’s received.

    "It'll make our streets cleaner and healthier, and it's also a basic human right," Haney said.

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