Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Public Restrooms

The closing of the Washington Park restrooms while a parking garage is being built underneath (fairly eliminating the park temporarily) has sparked a rather goofy protest & looks at the issue as an affront to a particular group of people, the homeless.
Community leaders & homeless advocates say the developers claimed they would make public "Portapotties" available which seems reasonable since some have already been brought in for the construction crews. The Fishwrap article has a big no comment from the developers, 3CDC, however. Apparently a restroom is planned for the new park. Still, since the park is closed, why have restrooms?
Meanwhile, there are a number of relief agencies in the area who should likely find it in the framework of their mission to provide restroom facilities for this demographic.
Over at the Asylum, the Dean kinda gets it. Where you have a large pedestrian population, regardless of financial status, you need more frequent restroom facilities. If you're driving or biking you can usually get to a large business or gas station that offers public facilities (actually they are for customers). Malls, with their large pedestrian populations always offer restrooms. An area like downtown Cincinnati, unlike a mall, does not have one manager / owner so organizing adequate public facilities is kinda difficult. The area from the Ohio River to McMicken Avenue and from Dalton to Gilbert is a wee bit larger than the average mall, too. The Dean brings up a technological solution, and there are others, but it's going to be more of an organizational & political challenge than that. Also, as we clamor for pedestrian friendly neighborhoods the need will arise there, too. Clifton has Burnett Woods & a public library, but neighborhoods like Oakley & Northside pretty much just have public libraries. These smaller communities don't have the public buildings or large stores that offer facilities like the CBD, either.
There is a real issue here but tying it to a construction zone & the homeless is really distracting & politically shortsighted.

Fishwrap story here

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