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The Pearl's home to 3 low-income housing structures within 5 blocks of each other, another one is being built on the periphery, as well as two drug treatment/SRO facilities. Except for the downtown core in SW Portland, where else in Portland are there such concentrations of facilities? North Portland? West Hills? Southeast? I hardly think there's NIMBYism in the Pearl.

Design-wise, the Loo has a lot of prison-like visual cues as well as a prison-like utilitarian functionality, with stainless steel-everything. If it was inside of a prison exercise yard, would anyone believe it didn't belong? If they allowed the stainless steel exterior walls to be decorated with colorful images, the Loo's stark looks could be softened quite a bit. This isn't Gotham City, you know?


thanks for directly acknowledging that from experience elsewhere 24/7 toilets have a proven track record of attracting crime, so much so that seattle removed them. now you see why people dont want toilets open 24/7 in front of their residence.

glad to see frizz show her true colors that she has more concern for people who are a burden to society than those that contribute. i can tell you that a lot of people find her comments insulting. our downtown is dying because we've encouraged though public policy, the homeless and street kids with 8 pitbulls free rein to congregate, do drugs, intimidate and scare away customers who would support the actual businesses that pay the taxes. our city council bends over backward to pander to every homeless "advocate's" demands regardless of cost or actual effect on reducing homelessness. we've made it so pleasant in portland for the homeless that we've attracted homeless people nationwide to come move here and live in front of some struggling store downtown and then expect that store to suck it up and keep paying high taxes to support the very person hurting their business. i'm very liberal but i have absolutely no time for homeless pandering, its not supposed to be easy or enjoyable to be homeless, its suppose to hold you over until you can get back on your feet.


I would rather there be Portland Loos. Homeless people, panhandlers, whatever - they are not going away no matter how much anyone might want to think so. Since those populations exist - we have a choice. Build bathrooms they can use or let them piss in doorways and stoops and shit on sidewalks.

I would much rather fund, see, and maintain Loos than have human feces to step over and hold my breath to go through any doorway downtown.

I propose if neighbors don't like the crime in their neighborhood - establish neighborhood watch groups or fund private security guards. It's not the toilets that cause the crime. And the Portland Loos are a pretty good attempt to make it hard to hide criminal activity.

And I like the stainless steel appearance. To each their own...

Michael M.

Porotland Loos in three locations? What about the one on NW Glisan near the bus station? I thought that was the original one.


Not wanting a toilet that "draws the wrong crowd" outside of your home is not NIMBYism. If so, then the Coliseum saviors must be NIMBYs too because they want to preserve a building and stymie future development with complicated provisions of working around the building.

Bill hits the nail on the head that it is simply pandering to a seemingly growing homeless population. This isn't for Portlanders in any way and never was intended to be.

I feel for many people who are homeless, but I am wondering the efficacy of Portland's projects and direction, not to mention the whiny advocates who think it's the end of the world because a homeless person can't sprawl out as they wish on the sidewalk with their aggressive panhandling (with their dog and cigarettes -- both of which I cannot afford btw) as if that's the sole impediment to them becoming stable and self sufficient in the world. Nah, it couldn't be that many are addicts and need change to feed their habits. God forbid we address the elephant in the room.

On a side note, just build some outdoor, semi-enclosed European style urinals for men (and women) and call it good. Those that need to go will do so. Hopefully that will jive today's uptight American society.

We don't need enclosed public toilets like these. If there's a park or what not, I'm okay with that.

Put the money towards indoor toilets and showers at proper facilities for homeless. If they need to go, they know where to do it.


Portland needs public toilets. Ducking into a Starbucks does not always cut it.
It would be great if these toilets were cleaned after ever use, but that is unrealistic. I have to admit that public toilets gross me out (don't most people think this?) but if I really need to go then having someplace, even a gross one will do. I need to visit the loo and see how good or bad they are.
I do think that putting the Euro stile urinals as mentioned above at locations where folks tend to pee is a good idea. The stench in the parking garage that I use is nasty in the morning.
I don't think that these public toilets necessarily attract crime, if they are maintained and monitored.
Bashing Portland's homeless population is not a solution. Our climate and more "liberal" attitude may play a role in this. It does seem overwhelming downtown sometimes with grungy people hanging out. I can tell you though, the panhandling in other places is way more aggressive than Portland, as frustrating as it is here.
The cure to homelessness and vagrancy needs to be a national program that provides equal support for all cities. Providing affordable housing, substance abuse and mental illness support and job training is the only way that we will solve this.
For now, we need some more public toilets.
We all gots to pee...


I was totally surprised (and eventually relieved) to see one of these on my run the other day. It was extremely clean, probably because it was so new.

I'm all for it.

And I think places like the water front are a great place for them. It did seem as if it would be easily to police, as I stood there waiting, I could easily see the feet of the person in there before I used it.

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