Agency who can help:

Department of Public Works

Department of Public Works
Bureau of Street Use and Mapping
875 Stevenson Street, Room 460
San Francisco, CA 94103
(415) 554-5810

Sidewalk public restrooms

Sidewalk restrooms can be an important amenity for pedestrians, but they should be carefully placed to ensure adequate pedestrian circulation and that they not negatively impact adjacent land uses or views.

See also Street Furniture Overview

The City’s Automatic Public Toilet Program was developed because of a growing civic concern about the lack of sufficient public toilet facilities in the city. The program added self-cleaning, accessible toilets on streets and public spaces throughout the city. The provision of accessible public toilets makes our streetscapes cleaner and more inviting for everyone.

Process Overview

The Department of Public Works has entered into a contract with JCDecaux to install, operate, and maintain public toilets in San Francisco. In exchange for the toilets, the City allows the contractor to install public service/advertising kiosks on City sidewalks. Advertising revenue generated by the kiosks pays for the installation and maintenance of the toilets.

See the Department of Public Works public toilets webpage for more information on this program.

Official Codes & Documents

Design Guidelines

Street types: Downtown Commercial, Commercial Throughway, Neighborhood Commercial, Downtown Residential, Residential Throughway, Mixed Use, Parkway, Park Edge, Multi-Way Boulevard, Ceremonial

Sidewalk zones: Extension Zone, Furnishing Zone

Public toilets are designed and located in accordance to the contract between CCSF and Clear Channel Outdoors.

In addition, public toilets should be located according to the following guidelines:

  • Sidewalk restrooms should be located in the furnishings zone, a minimum of 2 feet from the outside edge of the curb.
  • Sidewalk restrooms should be placed a minimum of 40 inches from existing sidewalk elements such as street trees, benches, and lighting poles.
  • Sidewalk restrooms are not permitted on sidewalk less than 14 feet wide, or on any sidewalk on which their placement would cause pedestrian clear width to be less than the minimum width by street type (See Street Types and Sidewalk Width). Wider space may be desired in locations with significant pedestrian activity.
  • Wherever possible, sidewalk toilets should be placed at red curb zones that are not bus stops.

Sidewalk restrooms should be placed such that they do not block scenic views.


Public toilets are maintained by JCDecaux.

To report a public toilet concern, please call 311 or submit a service request.

For a more detailed description of maintenance responsibilities for streetscape improvements in San Francisco, see Maintenance.