If San Francisco Supervisor Matt Haney gets his wish, the city may get more public restrooms.
He said it's a matter of public safety and decency.
Many have called the pit stop public restrooms lifesavers during the pandemic. The question now is whether San Francisco needs more of them as we move past COVID-19.
“Absolutely for people who live here and for people who visit to. Cause you’re visiting here, you just want the place to be convenient,” said Theo McKinney of San Francisco.
Before the pandemic, the number of staffed public restrooms stood at 25. During the pandemic, the city expanded it to 60.
Right now, there are 36. Haney, a supervisor in one of the city's toughest districts said they need more.
“We want Mayor London Breed to support us. We want to come together and restore more of these bathrooms. The access that we had last year should continue,” he said.
Haney led a rally Friday to discuss more on the 24-hour public restroom plan.
“I’m committed to as budget chair at a minimum of restoring 5 of the 24 hour bathrooms and increasing the number of bathrooms by five."
Haney said it’s not hard to understand portable public restrooms are necessary to keep streets from turning into sewers. But it's not cheap.
“For an entire year, it costs $600,000," he said. "That’s operating it every hour of the day. That’s staffed. It's clean to make sure it’s used appropriately."
Rachel Gordon of San Francisco Public Works also discussed about the program's cost since the pandemic.
“At the height of the pandemic, the bill for the pitstop program was just under $13 million. So, more than $12 million and we only got a minimal reimbursement from the federal government," she said.
The San Francisco Mayor’s Office released a statement saying in part:
“We’re in the middle of the budget process right now and there is always limited funding that needs to be considered. We’re working with departments and the Board of Supervisors on this and mean other issues to reach an agreement on the final budget.”