And I mean it is difficult to ignore.
San Francisco’s local government expects to spend up to $1.7 million to build just one public toilet – hardly a drop in the bucket for a city that gets thousands of complaints annually of feces on its sidewalks – and the project will take an estimated three years to complete. City leaders were scheduled to gather on Wednesday afternoon at Noe Valley Town Square to tout their success in obtaining state funding for the pricey toilet, according to a public notice for the event. The facility will reportedly be just 150 square feet in size and won’t be ready for use until 2025, if all goes according to plans. As San Francisco Chronicle columnist Heather Knight explained, “Another public toilet in a city with very few of them is excellent. But the details of this particular flint? They’re mind-boggling, and sum up a lot of what’s wrong with our city government.”
OK, it is after all San Francisco, so nothing should surprise us about this city, but the thing which absolutely took me aback about this whole fecal affair was this:
The estimated cost is equivalent to nearly four times the median price tag of a US home, according to the latest government housing data. San Francisco city officials noted in a statement that the figure includes not just construction, but also designing the bathroom, seeking public input and obtaining local and state permits. The Civil Design Review Committee of the local Arts Commission will conduct a “multi-stage review” to ensure that the plans are of the highest quality and are “context-appropriate.” Knight added that the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, the city’s Recreation and Parks Committee, and state environmental regulators will also have to sign off on the toilet’s design. Union workers will build the facility. “While this is not the cheapest way to build, it reflects San Francisco values,” the city’s statement said.
What this fvcking "context" to which this shitter must be "appropriate" is beats me. Well, I have some ideas but I will not elaborate on those here. So, what can I say?