San Diego has long faced criticism for a lack of public restrooms, especially downtown where leaders have designed a walkable community.
Now a public health crisis at least partly due to human waste in the streets has city officials scrambling to quickly add places to go to the bathroom. The county directed the city to swiftly add them to stem a hepatitis A outbreak that has left 16 dead.
The city placed four portable bathrooms near City Hall late last week, and have extended hours at 14 Balboa Park restrooms. They plan to add more downtown as soon as possible.
But the lack of bathrooms is not just a homeless issue. The rush comes two years after the city officially acknowledged criticism about the need for more downtown restrooms.
But the past few years, they’ve hit debacle after debacle even in far less urgent attempts to add them.
The problems have only grown along with San Diego’s downtown homeless population.
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I have long noticed there are no public restrooms at the Old Town Transit Center, a highly populated mix of city buses, the trolley, Amtrak and the Coaster. We have thousands of tourists pass through this location every day as well. How can we allow such a lack of services to continue? Yes, there are many homeless and transients in the area. Yes, there is a large public mental health facility nearby. Yes, restrooms here would have to be monitored or staffed, but isn't public decency worth that? Also, the Amtrak station downtown, a public transportation station, has signs stating the restrooms are only for ticketed passengers plus there are no public drinking fountains that are operational in this entire station.
I was going to read the article, but got stuck when I read the confusing and meaningless "But the past few years, they’ve hit debacle after debacle even in far less urgent attempts to add them." What was meant was, of course, obstacle after obstacle, as it is impossible to "hit" a debacle. Please have the editor (if there is one) fix this as it can be very problematic for folks to understand a situation when correct word choice is not used.
Good management is proactive. Poor management is reactive.
Seems clear where the city fits into the quality of its management
We have requirements to have parking, but not public restrooms. What does that say about this city and its priorities?
The restroom situation downtown is a disaster.
When I was homeless downtown the only decent bathrooms were in the library (both old and new), the train station (which technically wasn't public) and by the Trolley stop across the street.
The bathroom by City Hall was a nightmare and I expect hasn't changed, even with an attendant there.
And while I haven't tried the new one in the new Horton Plaza, the smell alone would keep you out. In fact, the smell reminds me of what used to be coming from the underground bathrooms(? tunnel?) decades ago.
And of course, if you're, a tourist, your s8*t out of luck, and I see them try to find one all the time.
It's amazing hardly any of the Trolley stops have one either.
[and having a few medical issues myself I need to stay within roughly an hour of a restroom if any trip is longer than that I might have a problem]
Realistically I don't know of a decent solution, especially when some users abuse the restrooms available.
Kevin Faulconer's legacy is going to be death and sh*t. I hope he understands that. I know there's a petition circulating to have San Diego officials charged with manslaughter in the deaths from Hep C as officials were in Flint for deaths from polluted water. I fully support this petition.
While Faulconer and his cronies were blowing millions to keep a frigging football team in the city, people were getting sick and dying. What kind of place is this? San Diego has a "can't do" attitude that's truly appalling when it comes to humane behavior. The people in charge of this fiasco need to be sued, booted out, replaced and relieved of their high-paying jobs. What's happened in San Diego is becoming the shame of the nation and for good reason. We're hitting the headlines in all the major news media and this one won't be forgotten any time soon.
Sixteen. Remember that number. That's the number of deaths it took for the city to even begin to take real action. Sixteen.
Unacceptable, unbearable, unimaginable in 21st century America.
ok, let's wait for the Hep B outbreak. Maybe then the city will bring in the semi's that they use for Quarkyard events.If the city can pay wannabe security guards to baby-sit the homeless during game season. then they could use them to "police" the toilets. What a scam, The city needs to get SUED!!!!! The longer they put off the need for toilets, the more death and disease will follow.These are third world conditions and the city is being.abusive and negligent to the citizens their sworn to protect.
If you just step back and think about what is going on here, it is hard to fathom in a developed country. Lack of restrooms, not only for the homeless but anyone else that would need to use one. As well, The Trolley, owned and operated by the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) also lack restrooms at their stations, including their main one near Petco Park where the MTS is headquartered. So if you take The Trolley to the Padre game, you need to "hold it" before you get to the game. And of course, there is The Trolley taking people all over the County, including people that might have Hepatitis A. Some get off The Trolley at those other stations, where there are also no restrooms. And if they are also homeless (which is common) they often times urinate and defecate in public. Then the residents and business owners (including myself) have to clean-up, possibly putting themselves at risk.
I have repeatedly contacted the MTS about this as well Public Health Officer Wilma Wooten about the problemn and their silence has been deafening. As the article correctly points out, restrooms cost money to be built and maintained and that is why it largely hasn't been done in the area. In the case of The Trolley, the taxpayers built and fund the system, which is not self supporting and requires ongoing taxpayer subsidies. So the taxpayers are being asked to support an enormously expensive trolley system, but at the same time be asked to look the other way when it comes to the MTS providing a basic necessity like restrooms? They should be ashamed of themselves for ignoring basic public sanitation that is common in other big transportation systems in the U.S. and throughout the developed world!
@Mark Robak Actually, MTS does have bathrooms there sortof, they are in the government building housing MTS, and other offices.
One of the few. Well, ok I know of only 4 stops that have one, 5 if I include the train station which technically isn't public.
Where is that $5 million the Mayor wanted to use for the Soccer City special election that's not going to happen this year?
@David Crossley his wife took a over-niter to Newport Beach to go shopping , plus their trip to Canada plus their trip to China. plus all the other trips and shopping trips they have taken since he took over as mayor
Whether it is providing hand-washing stations, public restrooms or addressing the housing for the homeless, one thing is for certain - our Mayor has failed to respond aggressively. His passivity is an embarrassment! The guy needs a good shot of vitamin B12.