City News

Tis the season for pissoirs

The City of Sydney is fighting the public’s urge to unzip and pee on walls and footpaths by installing portable urinals.

Residents are supportive of this move and are welcoming the return of public pissoirs during summer months.

City of Sydney Late Night Economy Manager, Suzie Matthews said the decision will help wash out drunkards peeing on homes and public spaces.

“Public urination is offensive and disgusting to residents whose doorsteps, driveways and property walls bear the brunt, and to city centre visitors who are overwhelmed by the smell and mess the morning after,” she said.

The City of Sydney trialled the public urinals in April and May and received wide praise for the program.

“Over 1,600 litres of urine were collected during those four weekends, the equivalent of 5,500 individual uses. It’s a disgusting statistic, but this amounts to 33 beer kegs or ten bathtubs of urine that would otherwise have ended up in alleys, doorways or on the side of buildings.”

However some residents are frustrated by the announcement and feel the public urinals are unnecessary and ugly.

President of Potts Point and King Cross Heritage Conservation Society Andrew Woodhouse said the public urinals were not the only ugly thing to come out of this decision.

“To pull your penile out in public, nobody wants to see that,” he said.
This is particularly a problem for the residents living around the urinals.

Mr Woodhouse said it’s the pubs and clubs that should shoulder the responsibility for public urination.

“All costs should be borne by pubs and clubs whose patrons they are designed for. Ratepayers should not be billed for these installations.”

Co-convenor of the Darlinghurst Residents Action Group, Jo Holder said if public urination is the problem then Council should be concentrating on preventing binge drinking.

“They are a gimmick,” she said. “It actually compounds the problem.”

“It ignores the wider problem of binge drinking.”

The City of Sydney declined to comment on whether they had researched the relationship between public urinals and public drinking.

A spokesperson for the City of Sydney said the urinals were widely popular in other countries.
“Portable urinals have been used extensively in other cities and during large music festivals in Australia and around the world, including London, Amsterdam and Edinburgh. Research shows they have significantly reduced urination in alleyways and around buildings.”

An angry Sydney resident who wished to remain anonymous criticised the plan for being sexist.

“You can’t just make pissoirs for men,” she said.

“Are there equivalent numbers of toilets for women? Perhaps that should be addressed.”

However the young woman said there was a demand for more toilets because the wait at pubs and clubs was excruciating.

“I once peed in a carpark. That was in my clubbing days,” she said.
“It was because there were no public toilets and the lines to get into the pub were so long. I really needed to go.”