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People Are Pissed About These Open-Air Urinals on the Streets of Paris

THOMAS SAMSON/AFP/Getty Images

Parisians are apparently bored by the city's untainted beauty, and are littering its pristine alleyways and patisseries by pissing on the street. To combat the scourge of public urination, the city recently installed a new fleet of "open-air" urinals, but they've quickly managed to offend Parisians for not being as beautiful as the Arc de Triomphe or Timothee Chalamet. 

It's not that the "uritrottoirs" aren't positioned to emphasize the city's splendor: one happens to be situated mere feet away from Notre Dame, overlooking the river Seine -- which seems like an ideal place to relieve oneself. But locals aren't exactly in love with the design -- it looks like a trash can with a gaping, sloping mouth -- and many have written to the city council in protest, reports CNN

"I think installing a urinal in the streets of Paris for those who don't respect their surroundings is a good idea, but in my opinion, this model is not attractive at all, and where it's been set up is not appropriate at all," a local man said. According to another resident, it's impossible to escape the sight of people peeing. 

In fact, it's the urinal's eco-friendly model that's created a garish design. The urinals use a layer of straw to mask the odor of pee, and the waste is being used for composting in local gardens and parks. 

Parisian officials are pretty adamant that the toilets will remain: Currently, there's four in the city with plans for a fifth. For what it's worth, Ariel Weil, mayor of the 4th district of Paris, called the urinals "an act of genius" on Twitter.  

Paris and Europe in general are a bit more at the forefront of sanitation and clamping down on public urination than most American cities. You're more likely to spot public toilets in European capitals than you are in New York, where your best chance of finding a toilet is at your local Starbucks or perhaps in a branded Charmin truck. 

h/t Conde Nast Traveler

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Sam Blum is a News Staff Writer for Thrillist. He's also a martial arts and music nerd who appreciates a fine sandwich and cute dogs. Find his clips in The Guardian, Rolling Stone, The A.V. Club and Esquire. He's on Twitter @Blumnessmonster.