South Boston’s M Street beach is seeing a steady stream of locals looking to escape the heat. But across the road, neighbors are apparently seeing a steady stream of something else.
With the Curley Community Center closed due to both COVID-19 and renovations, so are public restrooms at the popular, often-packed, quarter-mile stretch of beach. But when people gotta go, they gotta go — so they’ve been going. And it comes at the cost of those who live nearby.
Southie residents say beachgoers are using their properties as toilets: front lawns, alleyways, bushes — it’s all fair game, neighbors say.
“This has definitely been the worst summer since I’ve been here,” resident Linda Conley told Channel 7 News. “It is gross, but you know, there’s nothing open.”
“They’re coming over here and they’re peeing on anything they can find,” a resident who did not wish to be named also told the local TV station. “It’s like St. Patrick’s Day every day here.”
In a news briefing Monday, Mayor Martin J. Walsh addressed the situation: “Somebody’s front lawn is not a bathroom.”
Walsh continued that it is not incumbent on the city of Boston to provide a bathroom for M Street beachgoers, “especially with COVID-19,” he said.
The mayor said his office has had initial conversations about possibly installing porta potties, but nothing has been finalized.
“If you get caught urinating in someone’s yard, you get arrested for that. Have respect for the people around you,” Walsh said.
“Unfortunately, lots of people who visit M Street beach also used the Curley’s restroom,” Haley Dillon, South Boston liaison to the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Services, wrote via Instagram on Monday. “With the Curley being closed, this has created some unpleasant experiences for our neighbors.”
The Curley Center, in addition to being closed due to COVID-19, is undergoing renovations that won’t be ready until fall 2021, Dillon said. She added that those with concerns over the restroom situation can contact firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 617-727-3180.