Q13 FOX Season of Giving

Stop to smell the roses? Not in this Seattle neighborhood littered with human waste

SEATTLE -- Business owners and residents in one Seattle neighborhood say the streets are dirty. And the trash is one thing, but what they are really focused on is number two.

They say for months they’ve witnessed multiple people defecating on the sidewalks on a daily basis. They say it’s impacting business, it’s a health hazard and they want it to stop.

“That’s a biohazard. It’s infectious. That is human waste,” says Jennifer Aspelund.

She says she has to watch where she steps every time she stops by the post office to pick up her mail. Today is no exception.

“So they go up here in this corner, up against the fence and they crap down here, so that is the newest pile today,” says Aspelund.

This is NE 127th Street, and business owners and residents say much of the problem is happening here. Multiple areas are covered in feces just outside the post office and all around the businesses just across the street.

“I filed a complaint with the city,” says Mike Sandberg, who owns the Grocery Outlet and says he’s concerned about activity surrounding an unsanctioned homeless encampment on the sidewalk just outside his parking lot.

He says on multiple occasions he’s witnessed people using the sidewalk as a public restroom.

“I used to go out there and clean up the garbage all the time, but it just got to be a fruitless endeavor so I just quit doing it and it grew and now it’s kind of intimidating, too,” says Sandberg.

We walked around the corner with Mike and found more human waste on the back steps of a neighboring business. Just a block away you’ll find a public restroom; a handicap-accessible Honey Bucket portable toilet.

Mike and other business owners in this strip mall say they’ve been documenting the problem, taking pictures and video, not just of the human waste, but also of the drug activity.

On Tuesday, we found multiple needles and drug paraphernalia along the sidewalk next to the businesses . Seattle Police tell us the post office has reported issues in the past with people being intoxicated, defecating and littering on the sidewalk.

“This is my post office. I come here two or three  times a day to check my mail and that is my grocery store that I go to and we have to walk past that. I mean, that is unacceptable,” says Aspelund.

SPD says when it comes to the ongoing issue of human waste on the sidewalks, an officer would have to witness the act because it’s a citation offense, not criminal. There is a fine associated with it, roughly $25.

Q13 News also reached out to Seattle City Councilmember Debora Juarez for comment. Her office tells us they “have received multiple calls regarding this hotspot” and said they would email us a response. No response had been received as of Tuesday night.