Paris Seeks to Curb Rampant Outdoor Peeing With Sidewalk Urinals

Illustration for article titled Paris Seeks to Curb Rampant Outdoor Peeing With Sidewalk Urinals
Image: AP

Let them eat urinal cake!

The Washington Post reported on Tuesday that Paris has a street-pissing issue, which the city’s leadership is attempting to address by installing urinals directly onto some sidewalks. The devices have been named “uritrottoirs,” a portmanteau of the French word for “sidewalk” and, of course, “urinal.” Because the uritrottoirs are filled with straw, they are allegedly odorless. They are also bright red, free-standing, and provide no cover.


But then, nothing about this actually prevents people (OK, we are pretty much talking about men here) from urinating in the streets; surely city planners might have anticipated that the dreaded act would in fact be encouraged by these al fresco piss portals. What has been genuinely surprising is that flowers have reportedly begun sprouting from some of the urinals.

Ariel Weil, mayor of Paris’s 4th district, has called the street urinals “an invention of genius,” after all, “If we don’t do anything, then men are just going to pee in the streets.”


The Washington Post reports that public urination is an issue of international concern (duh), the Germans even have word for it: wildpekeln, which translates to “wild peeing.”

Not that I care, but wouldn’t street bidets just be nicer? Even, dare I say it, more French?

contributing writer, nights

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They have these in my hometown (Manchester, England). But they pop out of the ground - not normally there, but they pull them up at night for when everyone is out drinking.

I mainly always just thought it was funny. To be honest in the area where most of them are (that I’ve seen by the big bus station, for crowds trying to get transport home), its the ground being covered with rough sleepers and the spice zombies that seem the more pressing concern rather than a few lads pissing against an outdoor trough.