Re: Palo Alto, CA votes to install public pay-tiolets downtown

Tom Boland (
Sat, 9 May 1998 14:06:15 -0700 (PDT)

>I think that pay public toilets are only a partial answer for the homeless.
>Notice that if you don't have the dough, you can't go.  Charles Wilson

Charles, you're right of course.  Free toilets would be better, and well
worth it improve public health in our communities.

Greater Boston has virtually no public restrooms.  Hereabouts, people from
all walks of life seek common ground to "go" on, expecially overnight, when
nearly all the restuarants are closed.  I've seen profs pee in alleys, and
a drunk State House employee pee on the subway.  When the college bars
empty, the best and brightest empty their bladders in the same nooks and
crannies which homeless people use.

Boston area restuarants' bathrooms are typically for customers only. About
five years ago, Harvard University installed public toilets in Cammbridge,
which close about 8PM.  Those restrooms resulted partly from protests by
the in-your-face Homeless Civil Rights Project, backed by more polite
manistream advocates who joined negotiations.

Of course, Harvard and MIT continue to gobble up rental properties, driving
up rents and driving poor people out of Cambridge and onto the streets.
One might count the public restrooms a sop thrown the poor and homeless.

What we need is affordable housing, not piddling favors.  Then the public
urination and defecation problem would lessen considerably.--Tom B

>Subject: Palo Alto, CA votes to install public pay-tiolets downtown FWD
>>       But they are coin-operated, self-cleaning and designed to be
>>accessible to the disabled. They're also open 24 hours a day.

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