Public urination has long been a bane of central Prague: the stench of urine is ubiquitous in certain areas in and around Wenceslas Square, Můstek, Masarykovo nádraží, and elsewhere.
If you’re a frequent walker in some of these areas, you’re probably used to holding your breath when turning some corners or walking through some corridors.
Now, some streets in the center of the city are trying to do something about it.
As first reported in iDnes.cz this morning, a doorway near the Černá růže shopping center on Panská street has posted some “no urination” signs outside their entrance.
The silhouette on the sign is not the typical stick figure, but rather a man with ragged clothes and longish dishevelled hair, seemingly intended to portray either a homeless or drunk person.
I went out to grab a photo myself. The stickers were well-placed: an undeniable odor of stale urine still hung in the air. A family of tourists also stopped to grab a selfie with the unusual sign.
While public urination may be a common sight throughout Prague, it is still technically a misdemeanour offense. If spotted, a policeman may fine urinators up to 5000 CZK.
Still, that hasn’t stopped anyone in the center of the Czech capital. The iDnes.cz article has an amusing list of streets that are cleansed of urine on both a daily (Na Příkopě, Celetná, Ovocný trh, Masarykovo nádraží, and 15 other streets) and weekly basis.
But will the new signage be enough of a deterrent?