Lonely Planet Writer

Super Bowl brings San Francisco's first outdoor urinal

While they’re a familiar sight in Europe, outdoor urinals are rare in the United States. In advance of hosting the Super Bowl this weekend though, San Francisco just debuted its first outdoor urinal.

Dolores Park, San Francisco.
Dolores Park, San Francisco. Image by Dolores Park Works / CC BY 2.0

The open-air urinal—essentially a horseshoe-shaped fence with a tarp stretched across it—is located in Dolores Park, according to the Associated Press (select the link for a photo). Previously the park had just three toilets; now, after a $20 million renovation, it has 27 of them. Including the outdoor urinal.

The park’s previous state apparently led to a problem with public urination. “Honestly, we were ready to go pee anywhere,” San Francisco resident Aaron Cutler told KNTV. “So any facility is better than none.”

The urinal’s design, however, offers less privacy than some other outdoor urinals, like, for instance, these two in Amsterdam. Plants near the urinal are expected to grow (likely aided by an abundance of fertilized soil) and provide additional cover.

San Francisco, of course, isn’t a city known for its prudishness.