Porta-potty pops up in Occidental Park as city leaders debate public restroom
The Pioneer Square Alliance, the city of Seattle and a private developer have wrangled over plans for a permanent, outdoor restroom somewhere in Pioneer Square for more than year.
At the beginning of September, with little fanfare, the city Parks and Recreation Department installed a Honey Bucket. The portable toilet, which is handicapped-accessible, sits on the south end of Occidental Park at S. Main Street.
The installation of the toilet highlights the debate about public restrooms. Parks and Recreation has moved it once and closed it overnight when people complained that it was being used for drugs and prostitution, said Parks and Recreation spokesperson Joelle Hammerstad.
“So far it’s manageable,” she said.
That could change as the weather gets colder. The toilet is open only when Parks and Recreation staff are working in the area. The city does not staff the park on rainy days and will reduce its roving park staff in the next month.
The toilet can stay there, according to Parks and Recreation, as long as there is city staff to monitor it, and it is not used for illegal activity.
The Honey Bucket is a response to long-standing need in the neighborhood. There are few publicly available restrooms in the area, so sports fans, clubbers and homeless people resort to urinating and defecating in the alleyways.
CommentsThere have been portapotties in Occidental Square and the surrounding area for weeks now. Including a large one with handicap accessibility. Please stop stating that there has not been one and get out in the neighborhood for yourself.
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