While San Francisco has been doing its best to become a model progressive city by doing dumb things like banning plastic straws, its streets have gone to hell.

Human excrement on sidewalks has become such a pervasive problem that the city is launching a “Poop Patrol.”

Heather Knight reports at the San Francisco Chronicle:

It’s no laughing matter — SF forming Poop Patrol to keep sidewalks clean

In a city where filthy sidewalks are many residents’ No. 1 complaint, City Hall has come up with a new way to deal with No. 2.

It sounds like silly elementary school banter, but it’s real. San Francisco is about to launch the Poop Patrol.

In about a month, a team of five Public Works staffers will begin patrolling the alleys around Polk Street and other hot spots in a vehicle equipped with a steam cleaner.

They’ll begin their shifts in the afternoon, as the city starts losing its sheen from overnight cleaning. The Poop Patrol’s mission? To spot and clean piles of feces before anybody complains about them.

“We’re trying to be proactive,” explained Public Works director Mohammed Nuru. “We’re actually out there looking for it.”

We’re all out there looking for it, our eyes trained on the sidewalks as we walk so as to avoid that awful squishy feeling.

I admit to giggling when Nuru told me about plans for the Poop Patrol the other day. But in a city where people called 311 to report feces a whopping 14,597 times between Jan. 1 and Monday morning, public piles of poop are serious business.

In this video report from the local ABC News affiliate, one woman asks an excellent question. “It’s a great idea. Can we get rid of the poopers as well?”

This is also a good point:

Gavin Newsom, who served as mayor of San Francisco for seven years, is now running for governor of California. He had a lot of nerve to tweet this:

Maybe just deal with the poop first.

Featured image via YouTube.