Location, Location, Location = Safety = Success
Choosing the right location for a Portland Loo is important to maximize the benefits to the community that will be served.
Before moving forward with any installations, it is important to understand your specific needs and perform the proper outreach to the various stakeholders. Depending upon your needs and your budget availability, it might make sense to take a staged approach.
There are many different populations that need to be considered when addressing public toilet needs:
- General population
- Special events
- Business district employees
- Bar/Restaurant goers
- Transit riders
- People with medical conditions
- Pregnant women
- Park users
- Families & children
- The elderly
- "Restroom challenged"
- City & Private workers on the street
It is important to develop a shared understanding of the current Public Restroom availability and where the various populations are not being served.
What are the locations, general conditions, hours of operation of current facilities?
Are private/commercial property owners meeting some of the needs?
Do the current solutions provide sufficient unisex access and are they ADA compliant?
Next it is important to engage the communities who will be served, and who will be servicing the Portland Loo, to achieve proper buy-in up front and when a significant change in siting or features occurs. Constituents will vary, but should include the following: Public works agency
Public Parks Agency
Public Transportation Agency
Urban Planning and Renewal Agencies
BID, Business Chambers, Neighborhood Associations
Churches, Advocacy groups and non profit organizations
Police and Fire Departments
Once a decision has been made to purchase a Loo, there is still work to be done regarding where to put the Loo. If it is not located properly, not only will the right populations not be served, but also it can be prohibitively expensive to install and cause other issues with regards to safety.
General siting Items to consider include:
Distance to sewer, water, and electrical, including whether there are any underground obstacles to access
Right of ways
Visual impact (Historical areas, standardized street furniture, HMO requirements)
If solar is being considered make sure the sun is not obstructed by trees or buildings. Also be aware that snow pack will reduce solar and require additional maintenance to brush off snow.
In addition, the following items will impact overall safety:
Do not obstruct vehicle sight lines.
Structure should be in the public eye to foster self policing.
Locate near busy pedestrian traffic area.
Avoid proximity to climbing aids such as benches or trellises.
Keep out of pedestrian right of way including the door swing and exterior features such as hand wash/drinking fountains.
Site should have good night time lighting.
Comply with ADA egress requirements including grade, minimum width, etc.
CEPTED: Remote monitoring security (camera, motion, sensor, lighting, guards/attendants).
Consider proximity to vehicle traffic.
We look forward to working with you to determine whether the Loo is the right solution for your community, and how to maximize its utilization and public safety. Please feel free to call me at 503-298-6032 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.