Sidewalk urinals have Paris locals peeved

Open-air urinals recently installed on the streets of Paris in an effort to combat the French capital’s public urination plague have residents complaining about the “immodest” sight, reports this week said.

The urinals' conspicuous placement -- near popular tourist spots, like the Seine River on the Ile Saint-Louis near the Notre Dame Cathedral -- has prompted locals to write to town hall in protest, Reuters reported.

“There’s no need to put something so immodest and ugly in such an historic spot,” Paola Pellizzari, told the outlet. She said it’s next to the townhouse where 19th-century French poet Baudelaire lived, and was concerned that it was too close to a primary school.

The bright red boxes -- called “uritrottoirs,” a blend of the French words for urinal and pavement — are filled with straw that turns to compost for eco-friendly uses, and are topped with a flower display, according to reports.

Ariel Weil, a local mayor, defended the urinals in a tweet, calling them an “invention of genius.”

“If we don’t do anything, then men are just going to pee in the streets,” Weil told Reuters. “If it is really bothering people, we will find another location.”

While the urinals have been criticized for their too-public locations and unsightliness, others view them as sexist since they are only usable by men, Reuters reported.

Public urination has become such a problem in the city that the French coined a phrase for it: “pipi sauvage,” or “wild peeing” in English, according to the Local France.

Paris isn't the first global capital to use open-air urinals. The devices have reportedly been used in cities from Edinburgh, Scotland, to Sydney and Amsterdam.

U.S. cities are also working to keep their neighborhoods clean, with San Francisco recently announcing the formation of a six-person crew, dubbed the "Poop Patrol," tasked with removing human waste from the streets, FOX2 San Francisco reported.