The Pearl District, Portland’s icon of New Urbanism, still does not have a single public restroom on its pedestrian friendly streets! How can this be?
We’re not talking about Starbucks here. We’re talking about the commons: toilet facilities that serve residents and visitors in shared spaces such as sidewalks and public parks.
According to Neighborhood Notes, the Planning, Transportation and Design review Committee of Pearl District Neighborhood Association has been working with the city to identify a location adjacent to sewer lines, to sun for the solar panels and where the Loo will not block lines of sight from nearby restaurants.
The proposed corner of NW 11th and NW Johnson seems ideal to us. The Loo would take the place of a parking space if this can be worked out with the Portland Bureau of Transportation.
Unfortunately there is push back. Some people don’t like the idea that it will be available 24/7. Pearl District residents should take a look at the prototype Loo on NW Glisan between 5th and 6th. It the Portland Loo can work so well at this Old Town Chinatown location, it can work at Jamison Square. But the neighboring community must take ownership and make it work, as the Old Town Chinatown community appears to have done.