Lamp Post Corroded by Dog Urine Topples Over in Downtown San Diego

Pee problem follows similar incident in San Francisco last month

The lamp posts in this downtown San Diego neighborhood have gone to the dogs.

One toppled over in the 1600 block of 10th Avenue on Thursday night, and a resident who reported it to SDG&E workers heard a pretty incredulous reason for the accident.

Dog urine.

That’s right. Urine speeds up corrosion that occurs over time from rain and age, city officials say, and the pole in question was likely bumped by a car at some point, weakening the base before repeated urinating sealed its fate.

For dogs in the downtown area, light posts make a pretty good target.

“They just like to pee against something that’s upright, so it can splash out a little bit for other dogs,” said resident Claudia Hayes.

As farfetched as it sounds, this is a problem that’s emerged in the news before. In San Francisco last month, a three-story lamp post fell onto a car, narrowly missing the driver.

City workers there said the lamp post had been corroded by urine. They recommended that dog owners steer their pooches toward fire hydrants instead, which are made of cast iron.

As for the owner of that car, Lisa Kornfeld, she said the accident was unexpected, though she says the corrosive aspect makes sense.

“My dogs walk here,” she said. “I can’t guarantee they haven’t peed on this street light.”

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