This isn’t quite as bad as it initially sounds. New York City is debating whether to make many criminal offenses such as public urination, open containers and “fare-beating” civil violations rather than crimes. They would be punished as civil offenses through fines rather than as crimes which carry the possibility of jail time. This seems not altogether reasonable until you understand that –
in criminal summons court, roughly half the people don’t show up, and of the people who do show up and are assessed a fine, a quarter of them don’t pay.
And how nuisance crimes are handled once in court:
During the 10-year period ended in June 2014, about 76% of all marijuana summonses were dismissed — the highest of any of the top 20 most frequently issued charges — followed by loitering (69%), operating a motor vehicle in violation of the safety rules (67%), disorderly conduct (61%) and bicycling on the sidewalk (59%).
So people are mostly just ignoring the court summons and when they do go to court the judges are dismissing most of the cases. Then when a miracle occurs and someone is issued a fine about a quarter of them do not pay. I guess when you pack that many people that close together as is the case with something the size of New York City the breakdown of civil society is a foregone conclusion. Anyone familiar with overcrowding experiments involving rats knows as much. People simply aren’t meant to live like that. As with the rats all sorts of neuroses and anti-social behaviors manifest themselves — such as The New York Times and Woody Allen.
And of course the usual suspects are complaining that expecting people not to pee on everything hits minorities the hardest. Somehow, I don’t think that is a particularly flattering notion they have of minorities — but then they say I am a hater.
I also don’t think the tourism board will be gung-ho about the change — although the ads would write themselves. Who wouldn’t want a “FREE TO PEE IN NYC!” t-shirt? Fetishists could even organize tours where they pee on cherished landmarks like Ozzy Osbourne once famously peed on the Alamo. Then they could all go home and ignore the tickets.
One upside though to encouraging hordes of intoxicated vagrants to stand around and urinate on things is that it will certainly keep those silly flyover country people and their hangups about hygiene away in droves! Take that Kansas, you unsophisticated rubes!