The Los Angeles Times reports that more and more American cities with reputations for downtown partying are having to deal with a problem related to the reveling: public urination. In Chicago’s Wrigleyville neighborhood, officials cracked down after a homeowner videotaped men and women who routinely used his backyard as a urinal. In Newport, R.I., city officials became so fed up that they threatened to publish in newspapers the names of those convicted of urinating in public. In downtown Minneapolis, a neighborhood association introduced an awareness campaign at fun lovers who emerge from bars with a full bladder. Its slogan: “Go Before You Go.”
But the problem appears most acute in New Orleans and Las Vegas, which sell themselves as anything-goes destinations. In Las Vegas, workers descend on downtown alleys once a week to spray odor-eating bacteria. In New Orleans, where street drinking is legal, the City Council approved a law dubbed the “potty ordinance,” designed to stop public urination by increasing the number of restrooms available to drinkers. Research showed that the French Quarter, a six- by 13-block neighborhood which attracts about 15 million visitors each year, has only a handful of public bathrooms.