Pissoir pilot project underway

September 8, 2009

Caring Community

We have just had our first weekend with pissoirs – outdoor urinals – in place in our downtown. Anecdotal evidence suggests they are being well-used, but staff are tracking usage and will report at the end of the eight-week pilot project.

I have received calls and e-mails from some concerned residents and business owners. I welcome your feedback, and all comments will be considered when we review the pilot at the end of the eight weeks.

In addition to the pissoirs, the pilot project has two other components: a public awareness campaign and increased Police enforcement. Bar owners contributed to the funding.

The specific location and appearance of the pissoirs was determined by the Night Life Task Force and the City’s Operations department. Because this is only a short pilot project, we did not invest the funding to make them attractive or accessible to women and persons with disabilities, as this would have been cost-prohibitive. But if it is decided to install them permanently, more accessible and attractive facilities will be put in place.

The reason behind the pilot project is that public urination is a real problem in our community. In fact, it’s a problem experienced by most cities in the world, and Guelph is not unique in looking to pissoirs as part of the solution. Cities that have or will be installing pissoirs include Edmonton, Vancouver, Calgary, Victoria, Toronto, Winnipeg, New York City and Beijing to name a few. In fact, more than 600 cities worldwide have pissoirs. They help to keep the streets clean and safe.

About Karen Farbridge

An unwavering change maker seeking a just, democratic and sustainable world.

View all posts by Karen Farbridge

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