Brookland resident Kristen Fulton-Wright frequently uses the pedestrian bridge that grants safe passage from the Rhode Island Avenue Metro station to the street below. While the bridge prevents those on foot from having to dodge speeding cars, it is not without its own hazards, like marijuana smoke, nasty litter, and, worst of all, piss.
Tired of stepping in the secretions of others, Fulton-Wright first complained to Metro about the pee a year ago. “It was foul,” she says. Fulton-Wright says Metro installed a portable toilet, but it soon disappeared. She was told it was removed because of vandalism and a contractor’s failure to keep it clean. “But if people will pee on a handrail, I don’t think they’d have any issues going inside,” she says.
A camera was also installed at one point to monitor the bridge but had no impact on the flow of piss, as far as Fulton-Wright can tell. So, last week, the combination of heat and a stream of piss reaching halfway down the bridge compelled her to complain to Metro customer service yet again. About three days later, the bridge was not only cleaned up but hosted two new portable toilets near its entrance. The Metro employee Wright says she dealt with was not available for comment by press time.
Fulton-Wright says she’s pleased with the new potties and hopes that they will provide relief for those who endure long waits for buses with no place to release their morning coffee. But, she says, they haven’t necessarily dissuaded public pissers. Fulton-Wright notices a puddle every day, in the exact same spot—on the left-side handrail at the very top of the bridge—and believes someone is marking their territory. “It’s not as bad,” she says, “but I think someone might just have a desire to pee on the handrail there.”