BART is installing a new kind of anti-pee floor coating, as well as a “bacteria-eating enzyme misting system.”

Like many cities, San Francisco has a public pissing problem, which it’s tried to combat with municipally staffed pop-up toilets, an open-air pissoir in a park, and a sneaky kind of paint that splashes back the streams of free-range urinators.

The battle seems unending, though, with the latest news that the region’s BART system is spending a large chunk of cash to guard its elevators against fluid discharges. The problem is loose liquids can drip into elevator shafts, mucking up the mechanics and prompting pricey repairs. The East Bay Times reports:

BART officials have long been stymied by the odorous problem of people using its elevators as restrooms. Staff have thrown out various solutions to the ongoing issue—including investing in glass elevators to discourage the practice. But one increasingly costly solution—to replace elevator floors with a urine-resistant material—may come as soon as next spring….

The spray-on floors are resistant to scratches, impacts, cracking and wear, BART says, but the design change reduces the number of elevators receiving the new floor from 127 to 80, [BART spokesman Taylor] Huckaby said.

The agency had experimented with aluminum and stainless-steel floors, but dropped them for an epoxy coating for aesthetic reasons and the fact some could dislodge from their moorings. While not specifically mentioning urination, BART has issued a number of recent press releases about elevator repairs—“upgrading the splash guards and flooring in the elevator to prevent liquid from flowing under the floor and to make cleaning the elevator easier,” according to one from last week.

BART has also let it slip it’s installing this thing at a major downtown station, which you better believe CityLab will be looking into:

There’s also an added effort to help keep the elevator shafts clean. BART is prototyping a bacteria-eating enzyme misting system at Civic Center Station in San Francisco. The new system is located inside the elevator shaft and does not interfere with elevator operation. The misting system is set up to activate each hour.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. a photo of a WeWork office building
    Life

    What WeWork’s Demise Could Do to NYC Real Estate

    The troubled coworking company is the largest office tenant in New York City. What happens to the city’s commercial real estate market if it goes under?

  2. Uber Eats worker
    Life

    The Millennial Urban Lifestyle Is About to Get More Expensive

    As WeWork crashes and Uber bleeds cash, the consumer-tech gold rush may be coming to an end.

  3. A photo of a police officer in El Paso, Texas.
    Equity

    What New Research Says About Race and Police Shootings

    Two new studies have revived the long-running debate over how police respond to white criminal suspects versus African Americans.

  4. Workers apply a reflective coating to a street in a Southern California neighborhood.
    Environment

    The Problem With ‘Cool Pavements’: They Make People Hot

    A tool to help solve the problem of urban heat islands could have an unwelcome side effect, new research in L.A. finds.

  5. Environment

    Uncovering the Seeds of a Post-Lawn Future

    Two artists are on a mission to replace the monoculture of the turf lawn with “leafy green goodness” from seeds that lie dormant in the soil.

×