September 22, 2020

BY RACHEL ROY

In Amsterdam the Dutch royal family uses the Royal Palace in downtown Amsterdam as a working palace. Even though they don’t reside there, it is still an important icon.

The building has dark arches, gray bricks and large windows. It also has a historic atmosphere and is a grand tourist attraction.

It is so fine that people find it to be the perfect spot to relieve themselves.

After a multi-million euro renovation of the palace was completed in late 2011, there have been reports of people urinating in the darkened archways.

This prompted authorities to put up a fence. The fence would have worked but, the Interior Ministry called it “unworthy” of the palace and it was taken down.

Now they are putting up lights and motion sensors to deter people from peeing on the palace.

The government also reminded citizens that urinating in public is against the law and they can be fined 140 euros ($175 Cdn).

If these newly installed features fail to deter people then Amsterdam authorities will consider installing a urinal near the palace that rises out of the ground at night and goes back underground in the daytime.

Now, this problem definitely should be taken seriously, but actually installing a urinal, giving these vandals a place to pee, doesn’t seem like a great solution.

The goal here shouldn’t be to find another place near the castle for people to pee, it should be to stop the urination problem entirely. A urinal just encourages the practice.

Posting more security guards, cameras or guard dogs would be a better solution to the problem.

The installment of a urinal would also be a large waste of money. In addition to installing it, Amsterdam authorities would have to hire someone to clean it and repair it if something goes wrong.

There is also the problem of someone possibly pranking the authorities by going number two in the urinal. Then they’d have a whole new problem to deal with.

This idea may have seemed like a good one in the beginning but it has many flaws.

Amsterdam officials shouldn’t waste their time building a urinal but instead work on discouraging people from peeing. Perhaps taking their photo and posting it on a public board would do the trick.

The views herein represent the position of the newspaper, not necessarily the author.

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