Public urinals in Paris? What the......

Paris has installed public urinals for men to use.

I’m flabbergasted. This needs to be a thing? Men in Paris simply piss in the streets at will, wherever, whenever??

I’ve seen them in Amsterdam and other countries.

And now for ladies, too.

I’m surprised they didn’t also set up comparable facilities for women–discrimination…

Not all people are familiar with public urinals.

They’re not new. Here are some from 1876 or so.

See the link above; the urinals were installed precisely to remedy the problem of people pissing in the streets wherever, whenever. And, since it is no longer 1850, they are not for men only. There are also pay toilets which are wheelchair-accessible.

I actually used one in Amsterdam. These new ones are very different.

Weren’t there pissoirs in Paris already?

Have you ever walked through any large city and taken a deep sniff?

San Francisco has these. They’re called “walls” and “gutters.”

Berkeley is not as bad but there I did see a man pissing right into traffic at a tender young age.

I’ve seen a tourist drop his pants and a log in Sagrada Familia Square, within 50m of about… 30, 50 freely-accessible toilets? Both the church and the two squares bracketing it are surrounded by eateries, plus there are public toilets (silvery boxes about twice the size of a portapotty, hard to miss).

It’s considered one of the problems brought by tourist flats, specially the cheapest ones. Direct correlation between “noises heard in apartment 3rd 4 at night and the ground floor smells like pee”.

When I took ROTC in high school, I remember reading an account of a soldier who’d gotten stuck behind enemy lines in Nazi Germany and managed to get his hands on some civilian clothes and make his way into a city, but got found out as a foreigner because he wasn’t comfortable with using a urinal on the sidewalk.

So anecdotally, at least, it’s an established phenomenon in Europe for at least most of the past century.

Excellent! I saw them in Amsterdam and thought they were the coolest thing. Then I racked my brains for a while trying to come up with a good ladies’ version. The ladies’ is never going to be as elegantly simple as the mens’, but I guess that’s biology’s fault.

The pissoirs of Paris have been there for decades. I used one when I visited.

I’m not sure how these are superior to a port-a-potty, which are pretty ubiquitous and can be used by anyone. Of course, that would also allow for folks to do #2, which may complicate making the facilities odor free and low maintenance. I still think I’d spend the dev dollars on an organic port-a-potty instead of male only, open urinals.

Porta-potties take up a lot more space, they are more work to clean, and they are eyesores. And having publicly available private spaces can cause law enforcement problems.

More of an eyesore than some dude whipping out his John Thomas and pissing in front of God and everybody?

I agree with your other points, though.

I’m mildly bemused at the men vs. women aspect of this. In my meager experience, the person in the party who REALLY has to go RIGHT NOW is usually a woman, but anatomical realities as well as prevalent constructions of modesty and safety seem to preclude equivalent facilities. Or not; I haven’t clicked all the links above.

Actually, a good deal of attention is being paid to organic port-a-potties, or the equivalent because the lack of proper toilets is a huge problem in poor countries. And without proper toilets, disease spreads and of course there’s the odor and sight of human dung. Recently in South Africa, there were two separate incidents of young children who literally drowned in sewage while trying to use pit toilets at their schools.

I think the Gates Foundation actually sponsored a contest to develop a better toilet for third-world countries.

And to be honest, even in a first-world country like the US, I’ve sometimes found it difficult to find a publicly accessible toilet even in well-trafficked downtown areas of decent-sized cities.

Okay, I looked it up. Paris has had pissoirs since at least 1930.

I remember starting a GQ thread about the definition of vespasienne (= pissoir, I think) years ago.

Since 1830 … right, susan?