Public Restroom to Open in Chavez Park?

This might be a good idea—but only if the adjacent businesses approve—if the Portland Loo [info on it here design is followed and onsite management/maintenance is provided, as this editorial from the Sacramento Bee notes.

An excerpt.

Great news for people sick of navigating fetid minefields of human urine and excrement on downtown Sacramento streets: The Sacramento City Council is poised to approve a new restroom facility in Cesar Chavez Park.

Homeless advocates have argued in favor of a public restroom for years. The park had one until 2015. Now, Chavez Park — “one of the oldest park spaces in the state, established by John Sutter in 1849” — is poised to get its own state-of-the-art “Portland Loo” style restroom, according to The Bee’s Theresa Clift.

Public restrooms don’t get much better than the “Portland Loo.” Billing itself as “designed for the city, by the city,” the ultra-sleek and modern toilet has received rave reviews around the nation. According to the manufacturer’s website, the toilet is designed to resist vandalism, crime and deterioration. The toilets have even become tourist attractions in Portland, where cameos on the IFC show “Portlandia” boosted their iconic status.

They can be configured to run on solar power. Their unique steel-slat design ensures privacy while enabling police to detect how many people are inside. They can even be outfitted with blue lighting that allegedly makes it hard for heroin addicts to locate veins.

When it comes to addressing city life’s grittiest problems, it would seem the potty makers of Portland have thought of everything. The City Council is expected to approve purchase of the freestanding toilet, or one of its competitors, tonight.

Not everyone is a fan. The Downtown Sacramento Partnership thinks a new public restroom is unnecessary and will only attract more crime and problems. The organization won’t support the new toilet unless it’s staffed by a full-time attendant – which would drive the price even higher than the hefty $360,000 needed to buy, install and run one.

Others, like Sacramento Public Library DIrector Rivkah Sass, support the new toilet.

“If we’re going to be a full-service city, we have to offer places for people to go,” said Sass. “Public restrooms are really a civic responsibility.”

Retrieved February 5, 2019 from

About David H Lukenbill

I am a native of Sacramento, as are my wife and daughter. I am a consultant to nonprofit organizations, and have a Bachelor of Science degree in Organizational Behavior and a Master of Public Administration degree, both from the University of San Francisco. We live along the American River with two cats and all the wild critters we can feed. I am the founding president of the American River Parkway Preservation Society and currently serve as the CFO and Senior Policy Director. I also volunteer as the President of The Lampstand Foundation, a nonprofit organization I founded in 2003.
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