Portland Loo: Success where others have Failed

February 2, 2012 22 comments Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

Ever attempt to find a public restroom while visiting downtown Jacksonville for an extended period of time? You'll have better luck walking up to a leprechaun holding a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. For Portland, Oregon, using public restrooms is not a matter of necessity, it's an act of civic pride. Portland is home to the Portland Loo, a 24-hour accessible outdoor restroom built to be usable but not too comfortable. As a city council taskforce searches for solutions to improve Hemming Plaza's environment, here is a look at a public amenity worth adding to downtown's public spaces.

About The Portland Loo

It’s universal. Everybody has to go. The Portland Loo offers a unique and balanced blend of privacy and security, all at a cost that is a fraction of current stand-alone restroom models.

Focus on privacy. The Portland Loo offers the optimal balance of personal privacy and public access.

Lightweight. With its stainless steel wall panels mounted on a slim profile steel structure, it weighs a fraction of a typical restroom.

Durable. The stainless steel wall panels are covered with anti-graffiti coating.

Ease of Maintenance. Designed to be open 24/7 without an attendant.

Energy Efficient. Powered entirely by solar powered LED fixtures.

The Portland Loo is a safe, clean urban toilet that is ADA/family friendly and affordable!

Why The Loo Works

1. There's no running water inside.  There's no sink, just a spigot on the outside that pours cold water.  This eliminates the possibility to vagrants attempting to wash their laundry in the facility.

2. There are no mirrors.  Urban history has proven that people tend to smash mirrors.

3. The structure is designed with an open top and bottom.  This enables law enforcement to know when there is more than one set of feet inside.  In addition, the openings allow sound to flow, letting pedestrians hear the grunts and splashes of the person inside and the person inside hear the footsteps and conversation of pedestrians.  Nobody is interested in sitting on such a toilet for long.

4. The structure includes a graffiti-proof coating eliminating the possibility of tagging.

5. The Loo's walls and doors are made from heavy-gauge stainless steel with the idea that somebody could attempt to beat it with a bat.

How Much Does It Cost?

A single Loo costs around $60,000 with an annual maintenance fee of $12,000.

The Portland Loo seems like a logical solution to providing low maintenance restroom facilities in urban public spaces.  While some may be uncomfortable with such a solution, look on the bright side.  It better than Amsterdam's!

Amsterdam image courtesy of shane_wallace at http://www.panoramio.com/photo/6555717

For more information visit: www.portlandloo.com

Article by Ennis Davis.  Excluding the last, all images courtesy of www.portlandloo.com