A neighbor speaks out.

May 21, 2009

It  was good to hear from an Old Town neighbor, even one who is understandably distressed.   But public urination is distressing, and especially now that we have toilets at more or less at 1000 foot intervals throughout the hood.  

There is a concern we have that I would like to address. We have people peeing in our front door, while there is a public restroom just half a block away located next to the bus station. I don’t mean to be vulgar, but it is unseemly to walk out to leave your building and there is someone exposing themselves in your glass front door, while violating your property and causing damage. I’ve had to put a hand written sign up today, pointing out where the public restrooms are and to please not do it here. This doesn’t make our neighborhood look classy, having to do that.

 We feel that the public restroom is not clearly marked and should be.

Yes, a lack of signage is partly to blame.  Here’s what we recommend there.

1. Toilets need to be marked on the downtown wayfinding signs.  The Portland Bureau of Transportation maintains these and Mayor Sam Adams is in charge of PBOT.  Contact him copying PHLUSH.   

2.   Request revival of and staff support for the Restroom Implementation Team as recommended in the November 2008 Report of the SAFE Oversight Committee to City Council. While many RIT signage recommendations were implemented – new signs on all facilities, purpose built blue bicycle racks,  indications on the Visitors Map – more needs to be done.        Contact Commissioner Dan Salzman  and copy PHLUSH

3. Put up a PHLUSH  toilet locator sign in your window.  Pick up from PHLUSH Co-Founder Lan Nguyen at Orchid Salon, 203 NW 2nd.


Public urination?   Yes, bad on all fronts.  Figuring out how to stop it is something we think about quite a bit.  We’d love to see a social marketing campaign that combines humor and opprobrium.  

That’s what they’re doing in Victoria, BC; here’re posters they put up on vulnerable walls, doorways and corners.    Ideas for Portland, anyone?

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One Response to A neighbor speaks out.

  1. […] PHLUSH, Portland’s public restroom advocates were dealing with reports of ongoing public urinationwithin sight of the the shining new Portland Loo.    The issue didn’t provoke a lot of […]

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Our Mission Through education and advocacy, PHLUSH helps local governments and citizen groups to provide equitable public restroom availability and to prepare for a pipe-breaking seismic event with appropriate ecological toilet systems.

Our Vision Toilet availability is a human right and well-designed sanitation systems restore health to our cities, our waters and our soils.

Public Hygiene Lets Us Stay Human (PHLUSH) was founded in Portland, Oregon and today collaborates with groups across North America.

PHLUSH is a member of the World Toilet Organization and a partner in the Sustainable Sanitation Alliance.

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