MY HUMANTERAIN PROJECT-4

Where permanent facilities are not available

CHAPTER ONE: Statement of the Problem to be Researched

PROBLEM:

Tri-Met does not provide public restrooms for its passengers at any of their terminals. Shopping malls, stadiums, interstate highways, our national parks and the work place all have restrooms. Unfortunately there are still locations and situations that can significantly complicate the enjoyment of life, at least for some, and that is public transportation (otherwise known as) Tri-Met. The building code adopted by most municipalities requires at least one male and one female restroom at all transportation passenger terminals. Unfortunately, this code is not always followed. Tri-Met while providing excellent state of the art transportation systems and waiting areas, does not provide restrooms for its riders (American Restroom Association, 2013).

For many years transit customers have not been allowed to use restrooms while riding on the MAX, buses or railroad cars on the largest complex public transportation systems in Oregon. No modern commuter transit system would intentionally design a station to preclude use by someone in a wheel chair. The same philosophy must be applied to the restroom challenged Tri-Met. Transit stations without public restroom access have restrooms for their staff. Changing systems policy to require honoring all customer toilet requests is a no-cost interim solution (American Restroom Association, 2013).le, portable toilets should be placed in discrete, safe areas adjacent to transit stations. Stations with large sprawling parking lots should have a portable toilet in the area located the greatest distance from the station. During periods of peak traffic congestion, everyone wishes other drivers would use an alternative transportation mode. For someone sensing a fill bladder, traffic jams are a concern, but there are options. Using mass transit with restroom-less terminals leads to a trapped feeling, even with faster mass-transit, it doesn’t allow the emergency pull-off. Conversely, a transit system with convenient toilets is preferable to hoping one get off the highway soon enough to locate a fast-food establishment (American Restroom Association, 2013).

Scope of Problem

Holding it”, directly impacts and individuals health. When the lack of public facilities forces even the most law-abiding person to find relief in the wrong place, everyone suffers not only does it smells, it spreads disease. Properly cleaning a stairwell, elevator, or worse a set on the bus, max, or railroad car is significantly more difficult and expensive then swabbing a toilet (American Restroom Association, 2013).

Transit officials will often admit they should have more restrooms but they don’t want to deal with’ vagrant occupation’ concerns. It’s perhaps one of the best examples of unintended consequence of our ‘well-meaning’ lack of support for vagrancies laws.

 

Punishing the innocent to solve social and security problems is wrong. Worse, closing restrooms to solve misuse exacerbates the problem. Just as allowing graffiti to remain in place, bolted restrooms signal menace as does the smell of urine in the stairwell (Tri-Met.org, 2013).

 

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration provide the necessary regulations to ensure that people in the work place will not suffer the adverse health effects that can result if toilets are not available when needed. The agency mandated to protect the public’s health outside the work place, The Department of Health and Human Services, provides no similar regulation or even guidance. The lack of federal recognition makes it easy for: transits systems to put their amenities off limits to passengers, and municipals to close public restrooms (The Department of Health and Human Services, 2013).

 

TriMet, and the under provision of public restrooms, include costs borne by the city and businesses when restrooms are closed, unavailable or otherwise inaccessible. Costs of clean and safe cleanup of human waste from city streets and sidewalks are estimated at $10,000-12,000 annually in the downtown core.

The restroom challenged” individuals often avoid traveling downtown when they are unsure if and where public restroom facilities are available (Canaday, 2008).

 

Tri-Met provides bus, light rail and commuter rail transit services in the Portland, Oregon, metro area. They connect people with their community, while easing traffic congestion and reducing air pollution making the Portland area a better place to live. Tri-Met bus, light rail, commuter rail, streetcar and Lift service offers flexible and affordable service for people in the Portland region to get from their homes to jobs, shops, schools and recreation (Tri-Met.org, 2013).

 

The citizens of Oregon complain about the availability of public restrooms while riding public transportation. Restrooms are an essential part of a civilized city. Now Oregon is reputed to be a place where people are forced to urinate in public if they must relieve themselves. These are for the most part people with jobs and money, bikers, walkers, visitors, skaters and children who are using public transportation to get to and from work, shopping and school (Fitzgerald, 2002).

 

In a 24-hour period, the average person uses a rest-room every 2-3 hours or 8-12 times a day. TriMet could provide a basic service to the city’s residents, riders, and visitors. Facilities dedicated to performing necessary biological functions are as fundamental a need in our public transportation system, and state as streets, parks and schools (Fitzgerald, 2002).

Civility laws unfairly criminalize groups such as the homeless for urinating or defecating on city streets and side-walks, despite their limited access to public restroom facilities. Public toilets matter, for a variety of reasons. Without them, in many areas local authorities and residents need to clean up every morning (McCreary, 2009).

 

The National Organization of Residents’ Association (NORA) is a group that represents residents’ associations, and its Chair, Alan Shrank, described street fouling as “appalling, it is disgusting and if you are a resident affected by it, it ruins your life if every morning, certainly four or five days a week, you have to go out and clean up the mess, and it should not happen (Shrank, 2009).

 

Civility laws prohibit urination or defecation on city streets, sidewalks, and parks. For groups whose access to restrooms is limited either by time of day or social status, the enforcement of civility laws is unjust if accessible to public restroom facilities are unavailable. The most common citations issued by law enforcement to violators are for “Offensive Littering” and “Preservation of Property,” which carry fines from $25 to possibly jail time (McCreary, 2009).

 

Tri-Met believes successful transit is critical to sustain our diverse, innovative and growing economy. Tri-Met, along with the citizens of the region and their leaders, hope to triple the share of trips taken on transit, walking or by bicycle by 2035, compared to driving.

They want to bring 50 percent more destinations within reach of transit and other driving alternatives. Tri-Met is building our transit system to serve the needs of all people and businesses equitably (Tri-Met.org, 2013).

 

TriMet’s visionisto do their part in making our community the best place to live in the country. The missionisto provide valued transit service that is safe, dependable and easy to use. TriMet value’s to do the right thing by being responsive, inclusive, and accountable (Tri-Met.org, 2013).CONCEPTUALIZING BUS PASSENGER FACILITIES

 

Bus/max passenger facilities from the bus stop and shelterto the inter-modal stations are vital elements ofmulti-modal environments that contribute to people’saccessibility to places. The design and location ofthese facilities with respect to surrounding land usesand the modes of travel they interconnect (particularlyfor pedestrians and automobiles) are critical toenhancing people’s overall accessibility to the busnetwork, people’s transferability within the busnetwork and, ultimately, people’s ability to reach theirdesired destination.

 

Although traditionally the transit Station is conceptualized as “an area where passengers wait for, board, snack, and transfer between transit units” they are seldom thought of as key nodes connecting the bus service network to other mobility networks.

 

For instance, a transit station on a service arterial or junction is a connecting node between the pedestrian network of sidewalks and the max/ bus-service network. The bus/max patron must use the pedestrian network of sidewalks and paths before he or she can get to the bus stop to await bus service. Likewise, a park and ride bus transfer stop is a nodal facility connecting several mobility networks, connecting pedestrian networks (sidewalks and crossings), bicycle networks (lanes), automobile networks (roads), and the bus route network. One can think of bus stops at airports or train stations as more complex bus passenger facilities linking all of the previously mentioned networks to air and railroad mobility networks. The bus stop acting as the interface between the other mobility networks must be pedestrian accessible, ADA compliant, and must maximize the safety of riders transferring from one

The main challenge of course remains management/maintence of the facilities and to a lesser extent innovations in the design and changes in the construction of the restrooms themselves. The provision of well managed cost effective toilets is catalyzed by attitude change. This change invites reflection on our shared values of human rights, comfort and dignity as well as on practical need of all people to have access to restrooms when they are away from home.

Public pedestrian infrastructure, chiefly built by local governments, continues to be disregarded or relegated to a low priority even in metropolitan planning organization’s (MPO) transportation enhancement programs in many American cities. At the same time, transit agencies are increasingly called to task over becoming more actively involved in the development review process and over strengthening interagency coordination to promote the provision of pedestrian, bicycle, and transit-friendly development.

 

Expense is usually the main concern and barrier to the implementation of public restrooms. This applies to the construction, maintenance and security of the facilities. Often this leads to an inability to identify the appropriate agency that will be responsible for all of the various elements involved in public toilet implementation.

 

This is reasonable considering that many cities have spent money into the millions with the installation and annual maintenance of public restroom units. While there is progress around restroom implementation and the public acknowledgement of the need, bathrooms are often the first element of a design program to be cut when a development project runs into budgetary constraints.

 

 

 

Costs

 

Using the recommended design guidelines, TriMet estimated the total cost to build a new typically-sized restroom at $260,000 (2004 dollars) for a 28’x28’ restroom, of which hard

costs were 70%. The estimated average cost to upgrade existing restrooms was over $52,000 each. As it is more expensive to build new facilities, the plan prioritizes upgrading existing facilities. New restroom construction was prioritized based on need. The plan did not develop operating and maintenance cost estimates, but recommended that be a top priority for the RTF (Thronthoni, 2005).

 

An established annual Capital Improvements Planning Program funds restroom upgrades and new construction. This source does not cover maintenance or cleaning costs. To accommodate limited resources, implementation of restroom improvements will be phased in over 12 years at about $360,000 per year.

he master plan proposed issuing 10-year bonds to expedite implementation. Additional creative funding sources include considering volunteer projects or court order community service to clean restrooms, employing private cleaning of restrooms, constructing new restrooms only where there is demonstrated need (per location criteria), and using pre-built restrooms (Thronthon, 2005).

 

Security of public restrooms adds another concern, as it is often assumed that they will attract “the wrong type” of users (prostitutes, drug dealers, homeless, etc.) and that the average pedestrian or park user will avoid the bathroom all together. This places an element of controversy to any proposed public toilet project, as there is often a backlash by those who feel that this will be an expense wasted only on these “undesirables” (cite).These concerns are usually brought forth from citizens and business owners who feel that the costs of public toilets, both economic and social, outweigh the benefits. A number of options have been identified by toilet advocates to address these concerns and to ensure that any existing or new facilities are secure, clean, and accessible (cite).

 

Crime and Safety Master Plan addressed vandalism, graffiti, drug dealing, prostitution,inconsistent cleaning and maintenance, and insufficientre sources to meet usage demand.

 

To overcome these issues, the plan recommends high quality rest room design and construction,locating rest rooms in (or visible from) high activity areas, removing hiding places, thinning or removing encroaching shrubs and trees, redesigning floor plans to eliminate or decrease hiding areas,providing properly monitored and maintained

nighttime lighting,repairing and continuing maintenance of existing facilities, andposting signs listing phone numbers to call for maintenance orcomplaints (Thronthon, 2005). These options range from private management, TriMet, to partnerships with local non-profit organizations. Each alternative has its pros and cons, and Portland is currently utilizing an array of management techniques that can be compared in terms of effectiveness.

 

At a recent TriMet Town Hall meeting on a new Max line from Portland to Salem, I observed TriMet’s approach at addressing some of the concerns by local business leaders, residents, community leaders which emerged some seriously heated arguments on who is responsible for the gaps in services provided by TriMet. (Nov.18, 2013).

 

Results on vagrancy: taking a proactive move, the public and business owners, and toilet advocacy groups brought questions and concerns to TriMet’s town hall meeting on Nov. 18, 2013, for feedback and support. One possibility that came out of the meeting was to approach TriMet and ask if they would set up a security contract for the rest rooms with their own security team, since they are located directly on the transit centers. This was a great testament to the public knowledge of, and the support that can be provided by such grass roots groups around controversial development issues.

 

 

 

Increase TriMet presence on the system through a focus on fare inspection.TriMet continues to strengthen their focus on fare enforcement by adding more staff dedicated to fare

inspection on the system. Their FY2014 budget provides for 10 additional staff on top of the six new supervisors hired in FY2012 exclusively for enforcing fares and the TriMet Code. This is part of a recent policy shift from education (issuing warnings) to enforcement (issuing citations and exclusions, even for first-time violations) (TriMet.org, 2013).

 

In the first year of the focus on enforcement, citations rose 84 percent and warnings dropped 55 percent, as a result of this policy shift and staff investment. When they had to end the Free Rail Zone downtown due to a budget shortfall, it provided the opportunity for additional fare-based security checks on vehicles traveling downtown (TriMet.org, 2013).

 

According to my report, my hypothesis was proven. I have also proven through research, that this is a global issue and is every ones’ responsibility, it takes a combined effort with each and every one of us doing our part in this global effort to provide safe, clean, sanitation for all.

 

San Francisco’s Automatic Public Toilet (APT) Program “was developed because of a growing civic concern about the lack of sufficient public toilet facilities in the City.” In 1994, the City contracted with French company, JCDecaux United Street Furniture, to provide APTs to meet public concern (Soifer, 2000).

 

Most of these toilets are open 24 hours to address the needs of the City’s homeless population. The toilets cost $0.25 to operate. Clients unable to afford this fee can receive tokens from non-profit organizations throughout the City or by contacting JCDecaux.

TriMet should create a Public Restroom Task Force to implement public restroom related projects. The Task Force should consist of restroom challenged representatives from social services bureaus, neighborhood residents, public safety member, and other concerned transit rider. TriMet should consider siting new public restrooms with public input as appropriate, and evaluate the impact of any restroom closures.

The responsibility for providing public restrooms should be shared. For example, a partnership between the City and the Portland Business Alliance could effectively locate facilities downtown. Consider the feasibility of a hygiene center. Transit Mall Revitalization. TriMet and the City should provide public restrooms along the new MAX Green Line at Union Station, Pioneer Courthouse, and PSU.

Public restrooms should be supervised by a roaming restroom attendant, or a security guard. Address maintenance and repair as critical infrastructure needs. Schedule cleaning frequently according to time and level of use. Sponsorship, restrooms may be sponsored following the Portland Parks Foundations,’ “10-for-10 Campaign” model. Possible sponsors include Kaiser Permanente, Widmer Brothers Brewing and Urban Renewal Funds. Use tax increment financing (TIF) to fund new rest room construction in Urban Renewal Areas with significant public restroom need. Funding should be contingent on a community plan for restroom management and ongoing maintenance.

Explore the possibility of allowing exterior and/or interior advertising to pay for restroom maintenance and operations. Support the City Repair/Old Town Chinatown

 

collaboration to design and build an art toilet made of recycled materials from the Transit Mall project. Restrooms to increase awareness of facilities. To gauge public use, TriMet should install temporary port-a-potty units in areas where a public toilet facility is being considered.

 

Transit junctions are areas of high pedestrian activity and restroom demand, Restrooms could be made available to transit drivers at the same facility (American Restroom Association, 2010). Transit agencies often monitor activity at transit stations and could simultaneously monitor restrooms (American Restroom Association, 2010).

 

Many cities, including Miami, Atlanta and Baltimore, provide restroom facilities for their transit riders, particularly at transit stations. Facility types include APTs or stand-alone or interior restrooms within a transit center (TBA, 2010). In Portland, TriMet riders have requested restroom facilities along transit, particularly at transit stations, and the Downtown Mall Revitalization Citizens

 

Advisory Committee has urged TriMet to consider public restrooms for the new transit mall (McCreary, 2012).

 

TriMet currently owns and manages one public restroom, located at the surface level of the Washington Park MAX station. TriMet, Metro and the Oregon Zoo partner to maintain the facility. TriMet is responsible for utilities and repairs and the Zoo is responsible for cleaning and securing the facility. TriMet also monitors the area through security cameras (TriMet.org, 2013).

There is also a retail concession located adjacent to the restroom facility, but there was not enough consistent traffic around the site to warrant continued operation. TriMet has concession space available for rent at numerous other transit center facilities, which would create increased activity and provide restroom supervision Tri-Met.org, 2013). A TriMet list of suggested concessions includes pay toilets, in addition to flowers, espresso and visitor information (TriMet.org, 2013).

Violation is often an administrative matter, not criminal, and is typically handled by a Municipal Commercial Building Code Enforcement Office. A complaint leads to an inspection of the facility. Any code violations found may lead to warnings, fines or the closing of the business until the violation is resolved (American Restroom Association, 2010). Municipal commercial code enforcement persons prefer citing violations they can inspect. They typically lack the interest or forte to follow up on a ‘not allowed to use’ complaint. They also look at situations where customers need to ask for keys and where toilets appear to be permanently out of order (American Restroom Association, 2010).

Detailed Discussion of Implementation Strategies

Privatization and Innovative Public-Private Initiatives –

In the current economic environment, cities and counties are struggling to maintain existing services. Additional public toilets are likely to be a hard sell even in communities where residents and public officials see the need for them.

For this reason, there is a need to foster partnerships among those with a stake in public restrooms from the private, public and non-profit sectors (Andrews, 2008).

Increased access to public restrooms at Trimet and in downtown Portland will require the creative cooperation of groups like the Portland Business Alliance, business and job creation specialists and social entrepreneurs. As TriMet and the Portland Development Commission must be engaged in the discussion, public advocacy plays a key role. PHLUSH has suggested to the City Club of Portland that they take up the issue of public restrooms and is repeating its request for the next program cycle (Canaday, 2013).

It appears that the overall number of public toilets has declined in recent years, but the lack of reliable data makes it impossible to know for sure. It is recommended that the Government seeks a means of collecting this data, either through requiring local authorities to provide figures from their own areas or by charging the Audit Commission with resuming its collection of accurate information on the provision of public toilet availability. We appreciate that there are costs associated with this data collection exercise, but it is essential for formulating a public transit restroom strategy (Andrews, 2008).

RESTROOM ADVOCACY GROWS

Citizen activism and growing political interest have created an opportune time to lay the groundwork for transit public restroom planning in Portland. The grassroots

advocacy group PHLUSH(Public Hygiene Lets Us Stay Human), published a report in February 2006 calling for public restrooms in Old Town Chinatown (McCrery, 2010).

 

TriMet’s Transit Investment Priorities (TIP) program is Trimets roadmap for investments in bus and rail service, capital projects and customer information, as well as financial stability and partnerships over the next five years.

 

 

TriMet developed the TIP with input from their jurisdictional and community partners, riders and the general public. The TIP addresses short-term issues as well as their region’s long-term transportation and livability goals (TriMet.org, 2013).

 

The TIP helps local governments leverage our investments in transit service with their own investments in infrastructure (such as sidewalks and safe street crossings), and supports their visions for development. It is the basis for TriMet and its partners to improve transit service and access to that service (TriMet.org, 2013).

 

TriMet is being called on to more than double transit service by 2035 to keep up with population growth and substantially increase the share of trips people take by transit. This will require long-term financial stability as well as new operating revenue. Before TriMet can ask the region for additional revenue they must demonstrate strong financial stewardship of current resources (TriMet.org, 2013).

 

That is why the TriMet Board, as part of the approval of the Fiscal Year 2013 Budget, has committed to developing a Strategic Financial Plan. A map to reach fiscal

stability. The Strategic Financial Plan establishes policies and guidelines for making both short- and long-term financial decisions.

 

Before the Board adopts a plan, there needs to be a public discussion and understanding of TriMet’s financial challenges. The Board has set an ambitious agenda to adopt a plan by the end of November 2013 (Tri-Met.org, 2013).

 

The plan deals with both revenues and expenditures. Most of TriMet’s current funding comes from a payroll tax, passenger fares and operating grants. Expenditures include operating costs, debt and capital costs, and pension and post-employment benefits liability. Policies and guidelines for both revenue and expenditures are critical elements of the plan (Tri-Met.org, 2013).

 

 Over the next few months, the Board will continue to discuss elements of the plan (TriMet.org, 2013). TriMet engages customers and constituents through a series of Service Enhancement Plans, starting with the Westside (Tri-Met.org, 2013).

 

Starting in 2012, TriMet began taking a fresh look at how transit service and access to transit can be improved throughout the region. By talking with customers and constituents about service needs, improvements and funding, TriMet feels they can become more efficient, streamline service and engage in continuous improvement.

 

 

As such, their Service Enhancement Plans directly advances their goal to develop more and better service for the region, with new service starting once the economy rebounds (Tri-Met.org, 2013).

In 2005, the Portland Mall Revitalization Citizens Advisory Committeerequested that public restrooms beincluded in the Transit Mall revitalization. In 2005, TriMetconducted a study of U.S. transit agencies to collect information on public restrooms (McCrery, 2010). System Costs

Controlling operating costs is a key component to retaining and growing public trust by ensuring investments in Tri-Met yield a good return. To insure that new revenues are exclusively 9/11/13 allocated to new service, Tri-Met must make sure the cost of providing current service does not grow faster than general inflation. Tri-Met proposes that measurement is to have system cost per revenue hour grow no faster than a weighted basket of relevant economic indicators. This will require discipline in all areas: administration, operations, including employee wages and benefits, and all other operating expense categories.

Tri-Met is building on an existing safety-oriented work program, to implement a “Safety Management System.” This means using an integrated and sustainable approach to safety that is proactive and, ultimately, predictive. It requires self-examination and promotes continuous safety improvements by using specific methods for predicting hazards, gathering feedback from employees and collecting meaningful data.

I’m particularly interested in solutions that will get to the root of the problem of street disorder by focusing on community-driven prevention and intervention efforts such as neighborhood action plans, partnerships with the police, and basic amenities like public restrooms.”

One of the major’s problems, I see, is the lack of bathrooms. This may seem like a silly issue, but consider the alternative. We have to use the lavatory somewhere, and we really don’t want to do it in the parks but it takes a few hours to travel to a bathroom. And in the early morning hours, there is no other option. I would really like to see public bathrooms. It’s not just a comfort thing; it is also a health issue for the community. Port-a-potties would be a temporary solution, but the few that are in the parks are often locked or gated off.

 

Again, I will gladly help work or try to raise funds for any implements that might be made for my community. And do we need public bathrooms? Of course! But we need to build them so that they are simple and easily cleaned and actively discourage homesteading, spray wash cycles every 2 hours with a three minute mist warning beforehand? Uncomfortably sized rooms that discourage horizontal occupancy? A budget for ongoing cleaning and repair? Bathroom patrols? And just lots of simple, clean toilets and sinks. Let’s do this one at budget, please, without fabricated guesstimates!

 

 

If we build permanent structures, make some of them pay-per-use with an attendant on-site to control bad behavior. I’d rather pay than enter a restroom such as I have experienced in some parks and public places! As an alternate to permanent public restrooms overpriced instant problems, dress up the port-a-potties, disperse them, and contract for service. They are seen as adequate for public events, maybe we don’t need to build anything. No more money need be spent tapping into the crumbling sewer system, which might not be up to the additional load. No land need be permanently dedicated to smelly structures requiring expensive maintenance.

BENEFITS

The Sanisettes in fact offer people a private space. Mostly they are used by people who need privacy. Metro is wrong in denying women and children access to restrooms. For employees at the work place, access to building toilet facilities is covered by well enforced Federal Regulations.   For customers or visitors to a business establishment, toilet access is covered mostly at the state and local level. 

  When a person enters a business establishment, assuming they were not immediately asked to leave, they are an occupant. Locked restrooms are acceptable as long as all occupant requests to use the toilet facilities are honored.  

While the Code is typically adopted at the state level, building code is most often enforced at the local level. Violation is often an administrative matter (i.e. not criminal) and is typically handled by a municipal commercial building code enforcement office.  A complaint leads to an inspection of the facility.  Any code violations found may lead to warnings, fines or the closing of the business until the violation is resolved.  Unfortunately, code enforcement officers like to ‘see’ a code violation.  For example, if the toilet had been removed they would issue a citation.  Unfortunately, they are less certain when enforcing a complaint from someone who was not allowed access to a restroom.   

Why risk riding the bus/max with no alternatives.  Asking permission to use a restroom, when not a customer, is not always an acceptable alternative- IT IS A HUMAN RIGHT!  

People also react to the smell of urine near an underpass or transit stations in the inner city.   No police force is sufficiently staffed to stop public urination when facilities are unavailable.  Cities with thought-out distributions of public restrooms and portable toilets have few ‘civility law’ violations.

” Providing more public restrooms has become a key urban planning issue to me, which I am trying to make our cities cleaner and more pleasant.

‘Holding it’ directly impacts an individual’s heath, but know there may not be a restroom when you need it can reduce fitness activities.  Not only does it reduces ones willingness to leave the car, the restroom challenge or parents with children are loath to walk in a town or any area where facilities are lacking.  Some young women will avoid participation in sports if played at an athletic field without at least a chemical toilet.  Many people are struggling with obesity.  In the United States obesity is a National concern.   Lack of public toilet facilities is an addressable ‘impediment to fitness’. 

The lack of public facilities has been a longstanding problem in this tourist destination. The facilities were open only during the fall tourist season, however, there was a hue and cry when it closed for the season. Portland business owners have said the lack of public restrooms was the top issue facing downtown.
The traditional metro restrooms are musky, and a urine smell all the time.

COIN-OPERATED

SANISETTE –A dark mass of large dimensions (a full-scale coin-operated public toilet) at the entrance of an exhibition space blocks the view and the path of the visitor. An obstacle: The SANISETTE we reproduce has been created by JCDECAUX. It is an object, conceived to be discrete and to resist vandalism. Its color (a very dark, mat brown) and its horizontal fluting (to prevent posters, stains, graffiti and damage of any kind) make it a solitary, bunkered space. Dealing with urbanism, its models, and its representations (with the view that urban contexts strongly condition our lifestyles).

These projects work as models: on the level of their scale, their materials, their level of detail, the context in which they are displayed. This, in order to give the viewer a particular perception of architectural practice represented by the model, and to re examine our relationship to the original (estate, “vile nouvelle”, urban design, and habitat), the world of the city and its outskirts.

Risk anallysis: high technology coin-operated public toilets aren’t profitable because there are many free places to use in the city. JC Decaux (worldwide leader in urban design) compensates its losses by renting out advertisement space. The sanisettes in fact offer people a private space. Mostly they are used by people who need privacy for shocking or reprehensible activities. Thus, Sanisette works as a hiding-place for which you must pay.

Sanisette is a registered trademark for a self-contained, self-cleaning, unisex, public toilet pioneered by the French company JCDecaux. These toilets (and other similar toilets) are a common sight in several major cities of the world, but they are perhaps most closely associated with the city of Paris, where they are ubiquitous. In the United Kingdom they (along with automated public conveniences of other brands) are known informally as Superloos. The Sanisette contains a toilet hidden behind a door that opens when a button is pressed.

 

 

 

 

 

DESCRIPTION [edit]

The Sanisette contains a toilet hidden behind a door that opens when a button is pressed or, in the case of a pay toilet, a coin inserted into a control panel on the outside of the toilet. A washbasin is provided as well (the style varies with the model of Sanisette). When a user enters the toilet, the door closes to provide privacy. After the user has finished using the toilet, he/she exits and the door closes again. A wash cycle then begins inside the toilet, and the toilet fixture itself is scrubbed and disinfected automatically. After about sixty seconds, the toilet is again ready for use.

 

The East Cascades Station Area is a key area of the plan district, because of the location of the eastern light rail station which provides the gateway into the site for light rail transit riders, and its alignment with NE Mt. St. Helens Avenue through the Park Blocks. The Cascades East Station Area includes a portion of the Park Blocks system and should emphasizes the connection between the light rail transit station and the portion of NE Mt. St. Helens Avenue north of the Park Blocks (TriMet.org. 2013).

Transit Center is defined as a major transit hub served by several bus or rail lines. There are 17 transit centers currently operating in Oregon. Portland has 7 of them.

TriMets board of directors unanimously approved a new $ 485 million dollar operating budget on Wednesday, dedicating funds to, among other things relocating portable restrooms, and restrooms construction starting July 1, 2014, expected fares to stay the same (Director of Communication and Corporate Outreach) Oregonian, Rose, J. ( 2013). The budget priorities include: Improvements to portable restroom locations for operators, construction of a new restroom facility, and acquire property for a new layover/restroom location. Funds = $ 1.2 million.

 

 

 

Shifting from wasteful, expensive, contaminating, water based toilets to decentralized, environmentally friendly, dry toilets should be more a matter of paradigm shift than Capital Investment. We praised Trimet for its service to the citizens of Oregon, and its commitment to quality, and customer service.

Conclusions and recommendations

  1. We welcome and support the Government’s Strategic Guide on public toilet provision, with its strong encouragement for local authorities to adopt a strategic approach to public restrooms, taking into account the needs of all those who use public spaces, including those with children, older people, people with disabilities and visitors to our residents, towns and cities.

2. It appears that the overall number of public toilets has declined in recent years, but

the lack of reliable data makes it impossible to know for sure. We recommend that the Government seeks a means of collecting this data, either through requiring local

authorities to provide figures from their own areas or by charging the Audit

Commission with resuming its collection of accurate information on the provision of

public toilets. We appreciate that there are costs associated with this data collection

exercise, but it is essential for formulating a public toilet strategy.

Current provision

3. We recommend that local authorities provide visible, clear signs for their existing

public toilets, detailing such information as opening hours and location.

Information about public toilet facilities and locations should also be provided in promotional leaflets for both locals and visitors and on local authorities’ websites. This will also highlight those local authorities that have a high level of toilet provision and those that are lacking in toilet provision, enabling local people to press their local authorities for better provision.

4. We recommend that there should be standard public toilet signage across the country (possibly using symbols rather than text to allow for universal recognition, irrespective of language). We recommend that the Government and local authorities, in partnership, introduce best practice guidance on a standard approach to public toilet signage.

5. We recommend that local authorities can and should exercise existing legislative

powers to prevent anti-social behaviour.

6. There is a perception by the general public that unattended public toilets are seen as

threatening places, which puts people off using them, which in turn invites more

 

 

anti-social activity.

It is recommend that Trimet authorities study the benefits and cost effectiveness of providing attended public toilets, or at least ensuring regular inspections, so that the public regains its confidence in using them.

7. It is recommend that local TriMet ensure that public toilets are taken into account in needs assessments of older people and in supporting the independence of older people.

8. No local authority should use the Disability Discrimination Act as an excuse to close down public toilets for general use.

10. When Trimet authorities work out ways in which they comply to the Gender Equality

Duty in respect of public toilet provision, they should follow the relevant British Standard guidelines, ensuring that their provision covers the needs of women as well as men. We recommend that local authorities aim to provide a ratio of 2:1 public toilet provision in favour of women. It is recommend that local authorities and train operators make full use of the

Department for Transport’s Access for All Small Scheme funding of £7 million a year

to ensure that there are improved, accessible toilet facilities.

 

 

 

that toilet facilities are available for a wide range of users, over a substantial part of

the day and night.

40 The Provision of Public Toilets

recommend that environmental health officers review plans and licence applications

to ensure that adequate sanitary facilities are provided.

23. There are six National Indicators (NIs) that link to the provision of public toilets: NI

4 (the percentage of people who feel that they can influence decisions in their

locality); NI 5 (overall/general satisfaction with local area); NI 138 (satisfaction of

people over 65 with both home and neighbourhood); NI 140 (fair treatment by local

services); and NI 195 (improved street and environmental cleanliness).

If Trimet authorities are treating public toilet provision seriously, they should consider placing the provision of public toilets within one or more of these national indicators. There are a variety of different tools that local authorities can use as a lever to promote public toilets. We recommend that local authorities recognise the value of public toilets and find ways in which to include the provision of public toilets in their duty to support their local community, through, for example, Community Strategies, The Provision of Public Toilets Local Development Frameworks, Local Area Agreements and BusinessImprovement Districts

People power

24. recommend that local authorities consult their local community if there is the threat of public toilet closure, and that local authorities must demonstrate the case for closing public toilets. Public toilets should be closed only if there is a strong case for it and after extensive consultation.

25. Local authorities should follow the Government’s White Paper “Communities in Control” and should involve the local community when devising their public toilet strategies.

A public toilet strategy

I feel strongly that the recommendations made in the Government’s Strategic Guide should be acted upon by local authorities. For this reason, we recommend that the Government imposes a duty on each local authority to develop a strategy on the provision of public toilets in their areas, which should include consultation with the local community and which should be reviewed annually.

The duty of compiling and reviewing a public toilet strategy is a simple requirement that will go a long way towards achieving the right of people who live in and visit this country to have accessible and clean public toilets, wherever they live, work or visit. The way in which local authorities plan and utilise their own strategic plan is a decision for them; the fact that they have a plan should be a duty placed on them by the Government.

Transit-oriented development is an umbrella term for a variety of urban, suburban and redevelopment projects built around or along transit stops. They go

by a variety of names such as “transit villages,” transit-friendly” and “transit-focused” development or “transit-supportive development.” These projects generally involve improvements to the walking and bicycling infrastructure connecting development to the transit stop, a mixing and densification of commercial, office and residential land uses, and provision of substantially amenitized public space (e.g., landscaping, street furniture, and ample street and station lighting).

A compact, mixed-use community, centered around a transit station that, by design, invites residents, workers, and shoppers to drive their cars less and ride mass transit more. The transit village extends roughly a quarter mile from a

transit station, a distance that can be covered in 5 minutes by foot. The centerpiece of the transit village is the transit station itself and the civic and public spaces that surround it. The transit station is what connects village residents to the rest of the region . The surrounding public space serves the important function of being a community gathering spot.

As federal, state and local subsidies shrink, transit agencies across the nation are seeking new sources of funding and new strategies for leveraging capital. At the same time that transit agencies’ funding needs become ever more pressing, so does the need for

transit to establish a stronger community presence and visibility, not only among riders but also among non riders.

, as the search for new sources of operating and capital funds have pushed the transit industry to market its services like any other privately provided service, transit agencies are now exploring and developing extensive promotional strategies and marketing plans.

, leases of right-of-way space and infrastructure to utility, cable, and telecommunications companies, fees from retail concessions, vending

machines and pay phones, the selling of advertising space on and inside buses and bus shelters, merchandising sales, and the commercialization of stations and terminals.

different sizes. It is well known that transit fares cover a very limited fraction of the operating costs of transit systems, approximately less than 40% on average.1 Likewise,

 

it is also known that transit agencies are strapped for the capital investment necessary to keep existing systems running, to develop new systems, or expand current system capabilities. Furthermore, it is also a recognized fact that small and mid-sized systems

face unique financing challenges and that compared to larger systems, they have had relatively limited financing experience.

, in 2000 the federal government contributed 47% to the total transit capital funding.2 Thus, TEA-21 (Transportation Efficiency Act for the 21st Century) capital funding parameters and provisions are of great importance and crucial to small and mid-size transit systems. Make transit service provision more expensive, federal unfunded mandates such as ADA—requiring the accommodation of passengers with disabilities—and the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 and the Energy Policy Act of 1992—requiring less polluting fleets, have added new layers of expenditures without additional federal assistance to pay for them.

 

 

 

42 The Provision of Public Toilets

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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