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Curbing doorway use as a urinal (was: A wee problem)

JNL

Cyburbian
Messages
2,449
Points
25
As a favour to a friend, I said I would see if I could come up with some ideas for stopping men from peeing in his building doorway, by utilising the knowledge I have of CPTED. It is round the corner from a pub, which he part owns as well the building in which he has his office. It is pub-goers who see it as a convenient place to take a leak.

He has tried many things, and is getting tired of cleaning up the mess every morning. He has resorted to cutting grooves in the step so that the urine drains away.

I was surprised when I went to visit, the door is only slightly recessed, it is in a reasonably open area, right under a street light, the wall is painted in light colours and no graffiti.

One thing that did stand out as soon as I saw it was a lack of 'ownership' of the doorway - there is nothing to say who the tenants are. (Tenants = his electrical repairs business, a drum teacher, and some other commercial businesses I think). I was even unsure I had the right place when I went to see him. I discussed this with him, and he said they had considered a sign, but hte tenants change so often that it would make a sign out of date very quickly.

So Throbbing Brain, I am looking for signage ideas. The idea is that a nice clear sign next to or on the door will send the message to the naughty people who pee there that it is actually someone's property they are peeing on, it belongs to someone who won't be too pleased about people peeing there... change it from a faceless, ownerless doorway into someone's doorway who looks after it and uses it every day. Kids go there for drumming lessons!

It may seem just a small problem, but it's driving him nuts, and I thought it would be a good opportunity to put some CPTED principles into practice on a small scale.

Yes the electrocution idea has already been suggested :)

Here's some pics:

801DCP_0924-med.jpg
Here's the pub entry, where the offenders come from.

801DCP_0929-med.jpg
Moving past the pub entry, around the corner

801DCP_0933-med.jpg
The problematic doorway.

801DCP_0936-med.jpg
And the view from across the street. Note the street light (bulb just out of view).


I can hear it now...

New friend: So, what do you do in your spare time?
Me: Well, I look at places where people pee where they're not meant to and try to figure out how to stop them peeing there.
New friend: Right.................. weird.
 

el Guapo

Capitalist
Messages
5,995
Points
31
Great Idea.
Maybe a mirror at head height with the caption that say's, "Your mom would be so proud to see you pissing in my door way"

Or

Hang a urinal on the building's outside wall. That would get your pal some business publicity. Plus, what are the politicans and police going to say. They couldn't solve the problem and your pal is not enabling the pissers, he is just providing sanitary services in an area the government has failed to do so... ;)
 

Budgie

Cyburbian
Messages
5,270
Points
30
How about installing public bathrooms? If you can find room. I know that vandalism may be a problem, but it's better than the alternative. Or is it? How about planting a narrow line of bushes along the building facade. Or maybe even a large trough style planter along the sidewalk. Just let the local bobbies (do you call cops bobbies in NZ) know what's going on so no one will get a public urination citation. Of course the French, wee wee, whereever they like so this is not unusually outside of the United States. I was once in Regents Park in North London, and there was a bus load of drunk Frenchies relieving themselves on a hedgerow in broad daylight. Of course there was a naked couple getting busy in a sleeping bag on the green, so who really cares.

These things are common place in Europe, but are unthinkable in the United States. What about NZ or Australia?
 

JNL

Cyburbian
Messages
2,449
Points
25
Budgie said:
How about installing public bathrooms?
The thing is, they have just exited the pub where there are toilets. I went into the pub (purely for research purposes) and looked at the location of the toilets: at the back, right next to the dance floor. Maybe easier to go outside rather than pushing through the dance floor. I am enquiring where the closest public toilets are.

Thanks for the ideas, keep them coming! I am going to collect them all into a report for the guy, and then we will decide which ones to try.

Nope no bobbies here Budgie, we call the cops 'cops' or 'police'.
 

JNL

Cyburbian
Messages
2,449
Points
25
Budgie said:
These things are common place in Europe, but are unthinkable in the United States. What about NZ or Australia?
Sure people urinate and "copulate" in 'public' places, but they hide it. I'm talking after dark, behind bushes etc. So it's also unthinkable here to see these things in broad daylight. And if someone was caught in the act, they sure wouldn't continue! Sex in a public place is an offence.
 

Gedunker

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41
Is it possible to put a small can light over the entranceway? The street light appears to be 5-6m from the entrance, toward the intersection -- perhaps angled away from the doorway, and although the recess is rather slight, it appears that it would give a guy who just absolutely has to pee the privacy to do so. A light over the entrance would certainly discourage such activity.

As to a sign, with tenants changing so frequently, it may be better to name the building. Something like "The Morris Building, 717 Any Street". This way the little drummers mums will know they've found the right place :-D. Just my 0.02.
 

Maister

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Put a bright exterior light over the subject doorway - it might promote some inhibitions. Then again, drunken pub crawlers are not known for their discretion.

In order for any sign to work, someone would have to read it first and even then it might be 'fun' to flaunt the rules regardles of the signs' content........
 

Maister

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Yeah, put up a bright light...why couldn't Gedunker come up with an idea like that?....I suppose I should read some posts more closely before interjecting my 2 cents..... :-$
 

giff57

Corn Burning Fool
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The building owner should install a camera inside the window facing out. Even one of the fake ones would work.
 

Rumpy Tunanator

Cyburbian
Messages
4,473
Points
25
This might work or maybe not. Have a sensor that detects the presence of a person in the stairwell that triggers a tape player of a large mean dog barking. I know they use to have them here for your doorknob, that would start barking if somebody tried to open up your door.
 

Repo Man

Cyburbian
Messages
2,549
Points
25
I would just go to that upstairs window and pour a bucket of water on anyone who stops to pee there. Soon enough they'll get the picture. Or, you could use a squirt bottle filled with warm water form up there and act like you are peeing on them...when they yell up at you, tell them you saw so many people peeing there that you thought it was a bathroom.
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,080
Points
34
Dang! I got here too late and most of the good ideas are already taken. I was going to suggest the light and the dummy camera (with a sign on the door telling people the area is under video surveillance). What is behind the white siding? It looks like this may have been open at one time. Installing clear glass windows would eliminate the screening provided by the recess.
 

Belle

Cyburbian
Messages
142
Points
6
Rumpy Tunanator said:
This might work or maybe not. Have a sensor that detects the presence of a person in the stairwell that triggers a tape player of a large mean dog barking. I know they use to have them here for your doorknob, that would start barking if somebody tried to open up your door.
Or, to combine some previous replies, how about a motion-sensor light directly over the door? Or a flashing light over the doorway that would get people's attention (only to be turned on at night) to keep pedestrians' eyes in that direction...?
 

Seabishop

Cyburbian
Messages
3,838
Points
25
How about a sign saying that anyone who urinates in public will get their pee-pee bitten off by a pit bull, or maybe cut off by a robot. The sign can also show this a non-graphic way with stick figures.
 

Maister

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Seabishop said:
How about a sign saying that anyone who urinates in public will get their pee-pee bitten off by a pit bull
Ahhh, but what if it is groups of women that are loitering about wantonly urinating in doorways and alleys. It wouldn't have to be guys, you know......
 

otterpop

Cyburbian
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6,655
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28
How about installing a dummy video camera? That might deter the drunks from peeing there.
 

giff57

Corn Burning Fool
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otterpop said:
How about installing a dummy video camera? That might deter the drunks from peeing there.

Now THAT is one good idea.......
 

nerudite

Cyburbian
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6,544
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30
Maybe not practical, but...

Maybe you could slope the step on either corner so that the pee would run off and hit their shoes. :)
 

nerudite

Cyburbian
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6,544
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30
otterpop said:
How about installing a dummy video camera? That might deter the drunks from peeing there.
Or even one of those "smile, you are on camera" signs may be sufficient.
 

Wulf9

Member
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923
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22
I like the mirror combined with a proximity-actuated light. The light comes on, and the offender sees his or her indescretion as it happens.
 

JNL

Cyburbian
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2,449
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25
Gedunker - the building has a name already: Stamford House. I hope to put that up on a sign as well as trying some other measures.

Re lighting, internal lights are left on and apparently this has had little or no effect on behaviour.

nerudite - nice idea, however the step already slopes and has grooves cut in it so the urine will drain on to the footpath. Despite using sealant around the door, some still gets through so the guy replaced the carpet inside the door with tiles - easier to clean.

He just told me it's not just urine, it's vomit too. Gross.

And maister, I already asked and the offenders are all male as far as they know :p

I'm a little anti putting up a camera, real or fake, as I want to try other measures first. Don't get me started on the use of cameras. I think they should be a last resort not a first option.

I kind of like the mirror idea but I discussed it with my friend and he thinks that these pub patrons would be encouraged rather than deterred!! I like the idea of a sprinkler but a consideration is that any devices added to the exterior of the building may be subject to vandalism. So vandal-resistant is a key criteria. People go to amazing lengths to protect their peeing place!

Amazing how complex it is to solve a seemingly small problem! (or a 'wee' problem)
 
Messages
7,649
Points
29
Since he is part owner of the pub where the problem is originating, I am wondering if he can find out what is really causing the problem and perhaps find a means to address the issue there. If there is some reason the bathroom isn't being utilized where the beer is bought, this might constitute a genuine issue for the pub-goers. Business might even improve if some issue with the design or whatever of the pub is uncovered and redressed.

A lot of times, people "misbehave" because there aren't any good options for them -- doing it "right" is simply too hard. For example, I always feel guilty when I leave a shopping cart in the parking lot of the commissary here, hooking the wheels over the curb of a nearby landscaped area -- but there is no place to put the shopping carts. Everyone does it because it is systemic. I suspect this problem would mostly disappear if there were places to leave the shopping carts in the design of the parking lot.

Also, I agree with comments that, while the recess is small, it probably does provide sufficient "cover" for such activities. It looks like none of the other doorways are recessed like that. I don't know what to suggest though because re-doing the doorway would be a significant expense. It also seems kind of "barren" and that may promote the problem. It may be a largely psychological thing that the storefronts with awnings are not treated that way. You would think awnings would make for "cover" too but I think they also send a signal about the place being occupied and ... I can't quite put my finger on what I want to say.
 

The One

Cyburbian
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8,289
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30
Ideas

1. One of those fake cameras mounted just above the door, pointed down? Real camera with a direct feed to a TV inside the bar (webcast?)....create game where everyone takes a drink each time someone pees....?
2. A specially designed sign with a moisture sensor, the sign pees back on the offending person :)
3. Attach a urinal to the door or adjacent wall. Not sure how the local plumbing inspector would see this.... (if you have cold weather, this won't work...)
 

Doitnow

Cyburbian
Messages
496
Points
16
He just told me it's not just urine, it's vomit too. Gross.
Only badly drunk people would do that.

Frankly if I was drunk and had wanted to pee or puke I wouldnt bother whether i got sprayed on or saw some signs or have a dummy camera.I would just go ahead.
Many ideas have come about. I hope I can add some new ones atleast.

I would suggest something real:

1. PRovide an alternative Peeing/Puking place and make it prominent.
2.Close the niche with some atractive shutter which flushes with the footpath.How does that recess help him tell me??
3. If the real camera thing works and if it is possible to track down the faces and report them tothe police or put up notices is the Pub( that would be strange). This would deter the regulars. These things work in the sub conscious.( For example I may be in whatever bad situation but if i have to puke I somehow manage to reach the loo sometimes running in record time. ( it hasnt happend happened for a long time now :p )
4. If it gets too bad then publicise clearly within the PUB and around and in the local news( if the all the parties involved dont mind hte publicity and if it doesnt affect the business negatively.
5. Remove the awnings and light up the whole place.( maybe I got a cue from Micheles advice ;-) - thanks Michele)
6.Hire security toward off potential pee'ers and pukers and other'ers before they even reach around 10 meters from the doorway.( many many years ago I tried to shut my mouth to stop puking and lo behold I sprayed it right through my nose. And what a trajectory. But by that time I was in the loo :p )

I live in a country where peeing/spitting in public view is common. Its only now that the governments are putting up proper facilties on roadsides and the society is getting used to using them.
Common captions at eye level of popular peeing points are like this:
" Look !Look! The donkey/ass is peeing here!!
 

michaelskis

Cyburbian
Messages
20,175
Points
51
Has he thought about putting a motion activated light in the entry? They can be set up so that it only comes on when someone steps into the entry way. To make it even better, have him hid a police light that will also go off when someone steps in there. That way, the step in with it partly hanging out, light goes off, he wets himself, and runs!…

The motion detectors are cheep too!
 

Dan

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I like the motion light idea, with a tightly focused beam aimed right at crotch level. A fake camera would work wonders, too, especially if it's aimed in a similar manner. Performance anxiety and all, you know.
 

Gedunker

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Sorry, but I don't like the motion-activated light because the slightest motion will activate it such as passing feral cats and the like. A can light could be set on a timer such that it can be on at the most appropriate hours 10pm to 2am(?) and not illuminate the entryway when there is no need for it.

The best option, IMO, would be to replace the entryway -- which appears to have been remodeled without very high aesthetics -- and move it out to the street line. This option obviously is also the most costly.

"Stamford House" is a cool name ;-)
 
Messages
7,649
Points
29
I bought a book called "The Tipping Point" yesterday. Fascinating stuff. I mention it here because it kind of confirms a lot of my existing views of how things work, including the fact that people tend to misbehave due to situational factors.

I am sort of with Gedunker: I know it would be pricey, but I think the problem doorway is a problem primarily because it is recessed and re-doing the doorway so it is flush with the building front would probably resolve the issue. The recess gives a sense of "privacy" to the offenders that they wouldn't have from taking a whiz standing "out in the open" under one of the awnings down the sidewalk -- or whatever. Actually, if it were more recessed, it might not be such a problem. I suspect that the slight recess makes them feel like they aren't really leaving the street and aren't really intruding on private property while at the same time giving that crucial sense of privacy. A more recessed door might feel both 'less safe' to venture into and more like "trespassing".

And I re-iterate: since the owner of the problem doorway is also part-owner of the pub where the problem originates, he really ought to go to the pub and see if he can determine why so many people leave the pub without first going to the restroom and try to determine if there is a simple solution at that end of things.

Speaking of the pub, what if a camera took a picture of their face when they urinated at the door and then the pictures could be displayed at the pub? Post them publicly and humiliate the offenders -- but make a big announcement beforehand for a couple of weeks at the pub that this will be done. Display a poster at the pub explaining the problem and stating that this will be the solution and if you do not want your pic posted on the Pissing in Public board, then start using the restroom before you leave the pub.
 

Doitnow

Cyburbian
Messages
496
Points
16
re-doing the doorway so it is flush with the building front would probably resolve the issue.
I think that this might really work.
That change may shock the regulars and they would feel uncomfortable peeing or puking in a new/unrecognised place.
 

JNL

Cyburbian
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2,449
Points
25
I'm not keen on working cameras or shutters. I'm trying to work towards a non-intrusive, low-tech, low-cost solution. I like the idea of a focused light Dan, perhaps combined with a sign saying 'Smile! You're on camera' - with fake camera inside building, therefore not subject to vandalism.

However, an important consideration is that the problem is occurring only at night time, and putting up signs etc about the peeing problem may make day-time users (like the kids coming to drumming lessons) aware of a problem that they were unaware of before. That is, they will learn that people pee there, when they didn't realise that before, and if they see cameras and signs, they might think it is unsafe.

I think eliminating the recess is the best idea, but the cost may be prohibitive. I will let you guys know what my recommendations are when I finalise my report, and I'll post photos too if you like. I'll have to give some recognition in my report to the most valuable input of my Cyburbian friends! :)
 
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boilerplater

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916
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High-cost solution

He just told me it's not just urine, it's vomit too. Gross.
Real classy clientele your owner has there.

Since he's one of the owners of the bar, here's what I think he should do: Remake the bar to have a pretentious, elitist appeal. You know, a place that would attract businessmen in suits who want to demonstrate their good taste. Not the kind of place they guys from the football team go to get sloshed after a game. You charge more for drinks, the profit margin goes up, patrons drink less beer, which means less urination.

Yeah, I know you said you need a low-cost solution, but hey, I think outside the box. That's what they pay me for.
 
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29
It will come as no surprise (since I have said it twice before) that I feel strongly that the most effective solution would address the problem at the source -- at the pub, that these offensive folks start from. However, I now have an effective, inexpensive means for researching the Real Problem in order to try to devise an effective solution: For a period of a few weeks, JNL should be given "drinks on the house" at said pub by the part owner soliciting her expertise. Then she can do undercover, discrete research, chatting to folks and observing stuff (and taking notes discretely so she doesn't forget any detals in the midst of getting pleasantly sloshed).

No, I am not kidding. But I do find it funny. :-D
 

JNL

Cyburbian
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2,449
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25
Remember this thread? Thought I would update it as I have the answer!

the UriLift!

Actually, they're extremely expensive, but I like the idea :)
 

el Guapo

Capitalist
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5,995
Points
31
I'd have to be mighty drunk to walk into a tube that could suck me under the street level as I had my instrument in my hand. Nope, its pissing on the wall for me thank you very much. :0
 

pandersen

Cyburbian
Messages
243
Points
9
Lay a chain metal mat infront of the door and hook up a car battery to it - problem solved!
 

AubieTurtle

Cyburbian
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894
Points
21
Ah, someone has the guts to impliment the solution. Our friends at Vøringfossen in Norway are publishing photos of those who stop off to take a leak. The photos aren't close enough to determine faces, but if word gets around, this may direct rouge urinaters towards the proper facilities.
 

Dan

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Moderator note:

Updating the thread title from "A wee problem" to something a bit more descriptive.
 

jmello

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2,583
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22
JNL said:
I was surprised when I went to visit, the door is only slightly recessed
...

That's your problem right there. Bump it out to meet the building face and the problem is eliminated (really just moves down to the next available recessed doorway).

JNL said:
I was surprised when I went to visit, the door is only slightly recessed
...

That's your problem right there. Bump it out to meet the building face and the problem is eliminated (really just moves down to the next available recessed doorway).

A temporary 2x4 and plywood wall and door could be installed flush with the building face first to see if this solves the problem.

Also, what about putting a window in the door? Then the urinators would be worried that those inside could see them.

Or, the owner could just install and urinal in the doorway or leave a Port-a-John in front of it. :)
 
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Messages
14
Points
1
Place sign in bar, "Patrons identified as urinating on neighboring buildings will be denied service."

Perhaps the restrooms in the pub are not maintained well. If an establishment does not maintain sanitary facilities, I would take my business elsewhere.
 

AubieTurtle

Cyburbian
Messages
894
Points
21
pcflvly said:
Perhaps the restrooms in the pub are not maintained well. If an establishment does not maintain sanitary facilities, I would take my business elsewhere.
Or it could be that there is regularly a line to use the washroom. Nothing worse that having half a dozen beers racing to get out while waiting in a line that streches down the hall.
 
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