Lawsuit filed to get rid of open-air urinal in San Francisco's Dolores Park

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A group has filed a lawsuit against San Francisco's Recreation and Park Department demanding a new open-air urinal at Dolores Park be removed. (KGO-TV/Wayne Freedman)

An outdoor toilet now sits in San Francisco's Dolores Park as a part of recent renovations. At best, it appears to be a triumph of function over form.

"I can't believe it is one," said one person at the park. "I don't comprehend it."

That is the question at 20th and Church streets near Dolores Park, where the city's newest and most controversial urinal came under both scrutiny and fire on Friday.

"Words have meaning," said Kevin Snider. "And this is not a urinal. It is a hole that is open, connected directly to the sewer."

Snider, an attorney with the Pacific Justice Institute filed suit against San Francisco's Recreation and Park Department demanding the urinal's removal. The group claims it violates privacy, discriminates against women, and is a public health hazard.

The urinal, or whatever you want to call it, cost $15,000.

According to the Recreation and Park Department, it is the product of a community design process interned "as an alternative to peeing in the bushes and in front yards, which was all too common in the old Dolores Park."

"As far as I am concerned, anything we can do to help people relive themselves in a more private manner is an improvement," said neighbor Melanie Mandich.
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