Wednesday, September 02, 2015

List of City-Owned Toilets & Availability for Public Peeing?

John Updike is head of the San Francisco Department of Real Estate and a few months back, after I persuaded the fire department to make their taxpayer-funded toilets open for public use, I requested a list of all City-owned property likely to have functioning toilets or showers.

My request to Updike was for property in the Mission, Tenderloin, Civic Center and South of Market areas. Within days, he sent back eight-pages of responsive public records with these comments:

"Thanks for your patience. This is the best level of detail we’re going to be able to provide you, Michael, and I hope it is helpful. These are assets we either know, or suspect, have square footage of improvements. I do not have data set that can confirm existence of restrooms. [...] The info we have is only as good as the info provided by the departments in control of each asset – and as you can see, the departments are not very diligent in providing us with detailed information. [...] All would have restrooms of some sort, but not sure any will have showers. Our overall data doesn't drill down to that level."

I believe there are hundreds of San Francisco taxpayer-funded toilets, maybe a few dozen showers too, that should be evaluated for daily use by the homeless population, tourists and anyone else who needs to pee and poop.

It's incumbent upon Mayor Ed Lee and the Department of Public Health, not to mention the mayor's homeless advisers Bevan Dufty and Samuel Dodge, to methodically visit and assess which City-owned buildings could be part of an expanded toilet program.

To nudge the City officials to shake off their complacency about finding more restrooms and also showers for the homeless to take advantage of, improving public health for everyone, I've posted the eight-pages Updike shared with me on my Google Docs page here.

Btw, I had no idea the City owned so many parking lots, did you?

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