If your bladder is about to burst and there's no bathroom in sight, do your business on something stronger than a light pole. That's the message from San Francisco's Public Utilities Commission after one of the city's three-story lamp posts toppled onto a nearby car Monday. It just missed the man inside, who was uninjured. "We believe there was some contribution of dog or human urine on the base of the pole," a rep tells the San Francisco Chronicle. "It has actually been an issue for us in the past." Not only is urine beating up posts around the city, they're also suffering from age. Another rep tells KTVU the base of the thin metal pole "was rusted out and that contributed to the pole falling down." It was also holding a large banner at the time.
A woman who lives across the street says wind wasn't a factor when the pole tumbled. "It could have been me," she says. Three other light poles have fallen in the city over the past two years. "It's a little concerning obviously," adds a neighbor. "Any of them could topple at any moment." The street light budget was increased from $500,000 to $5 million last year to allow for maintenance and replacements; officials say they plan to check all 25,000 posts in the city. A PUC rep notes people should know better than to pee on city property, and dogs should apparently know better, too. Rather than destroy lamp posts, they should use "one of our fire hydrants, which are stronger and made out of cast iron," the rep says. (You'll want to avoid peeing on San Francisco's walls.)