Pipi Problem in France

You will find many wonderful things in the streets of Paris or any major French city. There are outdoor markets, cozy cafés, and bicycles or mopeds zooming by. However, many people have discovered something extra splattered on the streets that diminishes charm from these romantic rues. Despite the 400-plus public restrooms and numerous other options available in Paris, Frenchmen still choose to unzip illegally. Making urine sauvage, or “wild urine”, is a risk that can cost around $650 for one violation.  In a recent post titled Euro-pee’in, Jon Cecero discussed some clever Dutch solutions for the public urination problem. Public urination is an issue everywhere but the French peeing problem has reason to be emphasized.

3 Frenchmen stop to relieve themselves on the Autoroute (captured by Google Street View)

Three Frenchmen unzip on the side of the Autoroute in France (captured by Google Street Views) Smile! You're on candid camera!

Public urination in France is more than just a problem. It’s an adrenaline rush. It’s convenient. It’s a true test of friendship for partners in crime. Urinating in the street has been added to the Ô Chateau-Parisian Wine Tasting blog, “Stuff Parisian People Like“.

In 2007, the Mayor of Paris was, quite literally, pissed off at the situation and its stench. The Brigade des Incivilités, or “bad behavior brigade” has been sent to fight the war on public urination in Paris. The number of fines they distributed for public urination have drastically increased over the past 3 years. In addition to the brigade, the new mur anti-pipi, “anti-pee wall” has potty trained some violators. This is a horizontally jagged metal wall that ejects the urine back onto the peeing offender. The problem: the offender may continue to urinate publicly, but will avoid the trick walls. A French blogger suggests the new Axix. This Mexican invention will not end public urination but will help preserve buildings and contain the unwanted. What will it take to end the war on public urination? Where else is this a problem and what is being done?