Two years ago, Cincinnati City Council shot down the idea of 24-hour restrooms fearing the cost, even though they are seen as a humane way to provide 24-hour restroom facilities for the homeless.
Well, Cincinnati Parks Director Willie Carden didn’t give up on the idea of the “Portland Loo.”
The first Portland Loo – purchased with private donations – will be unveiled this June at the new Smale Riverfront Park. Others could follow.
Two years ago there was hope of putting one at Findlay Market.
“In the end, I’m glad we’re solving a problem … providing 24-hour, free-standing public restrooms for people living or visiting our city,” said Councilman Chris Seelbach.
Seelbach is so excited he’s already planning a “First Flush” event.
Back in 2012 the issue became a political football, one used to attack Seelbach and former Councilwoman Roxanne Qualls. They wanted 24-hour restrooms, but some criticized it as an expense topping $100,000.
Portland Loos are free-standing, solar-powered, graffiti-proof, open-air bathrooms. They don’t have mirrors or running water (there’s a spigot outside) and they open at the top and bottom so police can see what’s going on – in other words, they’re low maintenance.
The fancy 24-hour portable potties are named after the city which popularized them. They cost $90,000 to $100,000 each, plus shipping, site preparation with sewer and water, installation and maintenance.
I’ve read this article top to bottom three times and I’m still not entirely sure what exactly a ‘Portland Loo’ is. To me, the thing looks like a modern outhouse. I appreciate the effort of using buzz words like, “fancy” and “solar powered,” I’ll even give you props for using a catchy nickname. “Portland Loo” has a nice ring to it. But I’m a wordsmith, that’s what I do. What can I say, the kid can blog a little bit. So no matter how cutesy the city gets with their verbiage, at the end of the day you can’t sneak a fastball like that past a guy like me. I know an outhouse when I see one.
PS- Not sure how I feel about the whole anti-graffiti thing. Kinda goes against the first amendment, you know, free speech and all. To this day, bathroom graffiti is still some of the funniest shit out there. Like a real life internet comment section.