24/7 public restrooms could be coming to Rochester

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Toilets were the topic of a community forum today as a way to support the growth of downtown. Community groups gathered at Universalist Church for a “Flush Forum” to talk about how public restrooms would serve all members of the community including those who are homeless.

The group said as the city continues to grow, the concern about having public toilets available increases.

While this is not specifically targeting Rochester’s homeless population, that is part of it. It’s more so to support the entire community in general.

“Supporting everyone who is in our community, whether they don’t have a place to go because they’re homeless, supporting different people of different age groups and different concerns,” Fairport Mayor Julie Domaratz said.

When you gotta go, you gotta go.

As Rochester continues to grow, community groups like Reach Advocacy, and Person Centered Housing Options, and more, want to see 24 hour restrooms available across the city.

“It’s not having to rely on paying for Porta Johns, or paying for other items that might be costly to the community, and it’s for people to use these facilities rather than the streets,” Nicholas Coulter said, with Person Centered Housing Options.

“From the homeless side of things, having a nice place to use the facility is needed,” Andy Carey, said from Reach Advocacy.

Also in the meeting were Evan Madden and Bryan Aptekar, who are reps from Portland Oregon. They’ve worked with the city of Portland to implement these public toilets. They’re called “Portland Loo”, a toilet and a place to wash your hands. They were able to give feedback on how it would work.

One concern that came up a few times was how will illegal activities be handled.

“It’s entirely coated and easily cleaned, so the general structure of the restroom is intended to be wiped down, from graffiti and messes,” Madden said.

“We know people are going to go in, and potentially use and have left over sharps, we make it available for people to dispose of,” Aptekar added.

The mayor of Fairport says these bathrooms are being implemented in Fairport. As for Rochester, there will be more discussions. It wasn’t clear if there was a timeline for this project.