Rejoice, small-bladdered people—you soon will have another pot to piss in when you're out and about downtown. Portland
will open its second loo with an inaugural flush this Wednesday, Aug. 11.
The Portland Loo
its first 24-hour public restroom on Northwest 5th
Avenue and Glisan Street on Dec. 8, 2008. The second solar-powered round-the-clock bathroom opens at 12:30 pm Wednesday on Southwest Taylor and Naito Parkway. City Commissioner Randy Leonard,
the catalyst for this project, has said before that access to toilets is a basic human right.
The already-existing brick-and-mortar restrooms downtown enable unwanted illegal activity inside because they're closed off from outside view, says Anna DiBenedetto, a staff assistant for Leonard.
The Portland loos still maintain privacy for users but have Venetian blind-like slats at the top and bottom. “You have a sense of a lack of privacy so you don't feel the need to do those types of activities,” DiBenedetto says.
The new loos cost $58,000 to build, and the city pays $12,000 a year per loo to clean the bathrooms twice a day. Leonard's office hopes the public facilities will help with a basic necessity.
“I don't think anyone will deny that there's a problem with public urination and defecation,” DiBenedetto said, “and we're trying to address that need.”