Paris' Open-Air Urinals Called 'Immodest, Ugly'

Residents are not happy about the uritrottoirs
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 14, 2018 7:07 PM CDT
Open-Air Urinals on Streets of Paris Outrage Residents
A woman looks at the fencing of an outdoor urinal at a San Francisco MUNI streetcar stop across from Dolores Park in San Francisco on Thursday, Jan. 28, 2016.   (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

To combat public urination, Paris officials are encouraging men to urinate in public ... sort of. They've installed open-air urinals, or uritrottoirs, across the city, but the plan has been met with mixed reactions, CNN reports. The urinals are housed in flower boxes, but beyond that, they're not exactly discreet: They're painted red and the signs advertising them feature an image of a man urinating. And some are located close to the city's most iconic sites; a urinal near Notre Dame Cathedral, for example, features a view of the River Seine and can be seen from the tour boats that traverse it, the BBC reports.

Officials say the uritrottoirs (a combination of the French words for "urinal" and "pavement") are eco-friendly (nutrients from waste will be used to make compost) and "intelligent" (a layer of straw eliminates odors), but that hasn't stopped residents from complaining. "There's no need to put something so immodest and ugly in such an historic spot," says one person of the Notre Dame urinal. Others say the urinals are sexist, wondering when similar toilets will be installed for women. Four urinals have been installed so far, and a fifth is planned. (More public urination stories.)

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