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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on May 19, 2008 3:55 PM. The previous post in this blog was A video tribute to this spring's election porn. The next post in this blog is Pearls of wisdom. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Monday, May 19, 2008

Dear Fireman Randy

You may want to rethink your Big Idea about public toilets.

Comments (24)

Seattle's million dollar toilets are old news...DOA.

As for the proposed Portland Loo, its design addresses each of the areas where the Seattle facilities fell flat. The innovative Portland Loo fully meets the Restroom Design Principles that PHLUSH would like to see adopted as city policy. Portland needs cost effective public restrooms that provide maximum function in minimum space and are safe, accessible, available, attractive and easy to maintain.

Randy Leonard has done careful pre-thinking to head off the restroom trashing that the some commentators appear to incite.

Randy Leonard has done careful pre-thinking

I rest my case. They'll never work.

Pre-thinking is all we ever get. Thinking would be an improvement, as a prelude to acting. Public toilets are a necessity; but they need attendants.

I hope they contain sharps boxes for the used needles.

If anybody knows public potty policy and design criteria, it's Fireman Randy.

Let's see. Commissar Leonard decreed ethanol shall make up at least 10 percent of all our gasoline, yet even the U.S Congress with its farming lobbyists is starting to say ethanol is no solution to the energy crisis. That's strike one. Then, I don't know about the rest of you, but I haven't seen much, if any, decline in spray painting since Commissar Leonard made it illegal to sell spray paint without getting I.D. That's strike two. Maybe his pissar toilets idea will be strike three again him. Too bad this isn't baseball.

This may be fine for men, who stand to pee. But I don't know a single woman who would ever in a million years venture into one of these. Druggies shooting up and vomiting all over. Feces...urine. Unless an attendant is going to stand there with a hose, no way.
I also think it's funny that anyone believes some drunk/drug addled bum is going to make effort to walk to one of these. Nope, they will just find nearest doorway and let 'er rip. Anyone who works downtown knows what I am talking about.
I was in Seattle and watched in horror and disgust what went on around these crapper kiosks. Unbelievable.
Is there a mother who would sit her kid on one of these toilet seats? Please.

Isnt this why they closed down the original public toilets in the downtown parks?

dm, a mother would be arrested for child abuse.

Who gave Carol her talking points?

Unless an attendant is going to stand there with a hose, no way.

I thought they were "self-cleaning"? The last time I was in San Francisco, they had public toilets that were automatically sprayed down inside when you left & closed the door.

On another note, has anyone here seen the park blocks between 3rd & 4th downtown lately? Its like Woodstock down there.
You cant even sit on the benches. They are all full of the camper's belongings.
I was down there today after work. There was dirty clothes, food, trash, everything. It was pretty nasty.


A reader sends along this photo of a loo on Telegraph Hill in San Francisco, which she said worked well and was free!

Randy Leonard has done careful pre-thinking?

That is just too rich Carol.

Randy used that same approach when he then declared "those opposed to the Tram and SoWa are the Lars Larson types. The same people who want to destroy our public school system"

Pre-thinking indeed.


Jon is right about the park blocks near City Hall. It is disgusting right now and the city needs to put a stop to all this "homeless" protest stuff. If these people would spend the same amount of energy finding work that they do with this stupid protest they wouldn't be "homeless."


The pic on Telegraph Hill is accurate. Try using the loo down around Montgomery and Market. Totally different experience.

PDX should learn from Seattle. Therefore, it sounds like a good excuse to spend a week in Seattle. A few City Hall guys can get a room at the Westin, walk around the waterfront, golf with some Seattle politicos, and discuss what they see over dinner at the Edgewater.

**Randy Leonard has done careful pre-thinking, a history-in-the-making event. Close to 3 full moons in a month.

from all the negative comments I guess the answer to this issue is: do nothing at all and let folks pee and s--- when and where ever.

we don't need no "stinkin' toilets' in fact we don't need any at all!

In the photo,the happy camper in San Francisco is exiting an APT, or automatic public toilet. This is another version of what failed in Seattle and has not yet been shown to work in any US city. San Francisco's APTs are supported by advertising, They're energy hogs that run for $250,000 so it takes a huge ad market to support them. Portland, fortunately, isn't a big enough market.

10 to 20 Portland Loos for the cost of one of these sounds like a deal to me.

Attendants? For a single user stall? You must be dreaming! What's the cost for 24/7....about 4.5 FTEs?

The Portland Loo is designed for natural surveillance, community monitoring. If a location doesn't work, move it.

Giving the public a place to go is as basic as any other public good a city provides.

..."If a location doesn't work, move it." I think Carol has the answer...let the vermin load themselves into wheeled loos....lock the door and tow it down I-5... outta town....outta sight....outta scent. Rinse and repeat.

Done!Bingo! "You're-in" the drivers seat, Carol.

Re: above comment

referring to human beings as "vermin" is quite a brave statement to make especially when you can do it using a phony web name.

If these people would spend the same amount of energy finding work that they do with this stupid protest they wouldn't be "homeless."

I heard a guy tell one of the homeless protesters to "get a job". And the retort was "how can I get a job if I dont have a place to sleep?"
Funny, I always thought it was the other way around.


I think the term "pre-thinking" will find it's way to the popularity of linchpins and drum rolls!

Hmm, so does Carol work for Randy, or is "Carol" Randy's anonymous blogging name?

Jon, I doubt you would hire an applicant that interviewed without a shower and in the same clothes he slept in the night before.

Re-thinking public toilets puts us right back where we were. European business districts attract customers with public toilets, but American business districts can't let their customers pee without a chaperone?

In my opinion, paying 4.5FTE per toilet for vice cops is less profitable than extending our customer's downtown shopping hours.


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