Excessive turdage clogs BART escalator!

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PoopReport residents of the San Francisco Bay area might be familiar with the Market Street Civic Center Station of the Bay Area Rapid Transit [BART]. City Hall, the War Memorial, San Francisco’s Opera House, and the main branch of the San Francisco Public Library can all be found within walking distance of this station. And according to one of today’s leading stories from the San Francisco Chronicle, it is also within walking distance of an inordinate amount of hobo poo, enough to clog an elevator. This rather large and smelly issue has been confronted by many a morning commuter in the most intimate way, as he or she discovers a second too late that it might be a good idea to watch one’s step.

San Francisco has a large population of homeless, possibly drawn from other areas of the country because of its mild weather. The homeless like to stay in out of the weather and have been using the facilities of BART for nighttime snoozing. This causes problems when nature calls in the middle of the night because bathrooms are few and far between. When ya' gotta, go ya' gotta go, and lately the nighttime residents have been pinching loaves on the escalators..

Last month an inoperative escalator at the Civic Center Station was broken open for repair and found to be so clogged with hobo crap that a hazardous-materials team had to be called in for de-pooping. BART spokesman Jim Allison stated that five of the nine elevators in the station were not working, and while there are many reasons an elevator can break down, the late-night damage done to them is one of the main causes. (The original article referred to this particular cause as “biological excretions,” but we Poopreporters don’t need no stinking formalities.)

And there is a great deal of biological excretion going on, apparently: No matter how frequently San Francisco and BART police officers patrol the high-activity areas, they cannot contain the issue. Nor is the Civic Center Station the only location battling the problem. The BART station at the 16th Street Mission Station, home to the two century-old San Francisco de asis Mission, also known as the Mission Delores, is, according to the BART website, “host to an eclectic mix of restaurants, markets, performance spaces, shops, and nightspots.” It is also host to more hobo poo at most every turn, nook, and cranny in the stairwells that lead up to ground level, because this location is one of the more favored by the homeless for overnight camping.

Police can not make an arrest or issue a citation unless they witness the log being extruded in an inappropriate place. While one would think that anyplace rather than a commode should qualify as inappropriate, a deeper issue remains; the police forces can tell the homeless to move along to another area, but they are not able to solve the main problem, which is at the end of the day these people have nowhere to go. Literally.

BART and city officials are taking the elevator mishap as a sign that it’s time to address the problem together and not in an isolated fashion. Considerable expense is already being incurred by these cleanups. so it seems reasonable to place a porta-potty or several dozen porta-potties in strategic locations frequented by the homeless at night. What do you think, PoopReport? Would porta-potties cost the city more money than elevator repairs? What steps can be taken to alleviate the issue?

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4 Comments on "Excessive turdage clogs BART escalator!"

Anonymous's picture
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Yep-absolutely. It's not only a matter of hygiene, but basic human dignity. It doesn't matter if you're rich or homeless, if you gotta go, you gotta go-wherever and whenever you can! That being said, there should be rules and conditions, the main one being "respect this area." Maybe they could give 'em jobs as cleaners or something like that. Hey, they're there anyways, so, why not?

runninggrrl2's picture
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Why not round up all the hobos and have THEM de-clog the escalators? The city can pay them whatever they feel is fair and if they don't want to clean it up, they should find another place to poop. Can't they find a 24 hour gas station or something and use their bathroom?

An apple a day keeps the ExLax away!

daphne's picture
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I guess the "give them a job" concept relies on the reason why each individual is homeless. It has been estimated that over half of our homeless have mental illnesses. Also, close to one half of the women who have left their husbands because of abusive situations have ended up homeless at one time or another. In fact, the homeless battered women population is larger and more sad that we consider. Some people do not want to be homeless, and some, such as paranoid schizophrenics, do not want to belong to structure society. Thus, many of these people might not want a job, and many might.

If jobs are out there, sadly, I believe the city is going to keep the money within in the contracted ranks, or else the officials will feel as if they are paying these people to make their own messes.

I think what this all comes down to is that we like to ignore homeless. Even in Britain now, where the Olympics are being held, the areas for tourists have fallen victim to the same shit that happened in Atlanta, here, during our Atlanta Olympics: We (and the officials in Britain) kicked out all the prostitutes and homeless while the Olympics went (are going) on. "We don't want people to actually SEE these people!"

I am ashamed at how we've treated our war and military veterans, abused women and children, and and the mentally ill in this country. This article was a great example of how we are not dealing with the problem until it affects us, those with jobs and homes.

.....hugging bunnies since 1969
www.daphneszoo.com

Deja Poo's picture
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Interestingly, San Fran is the home to the free RoboCrappers. As best I recall from my last visit, there's one of these self-washing public facilities out by the Coit Towers. Of course, though, if I were some homeless maniac suffering from Paranoid Schizophrenia, I wouldn't want to be locked in a government operated facility for any period of time where I might be hosed down with detergents or gawdonlyknowswhatother kinds of heavy chemical cleaners, even if it means a sanitary place to take a dump. Instead, I would probably opt to shit in an elevator also, which is pretty much the same, except that it doesn't have toilet seat and isn't self-cleaning.

Yo quiero Taco Bell.