The main text originally was posted on July 8, 2018; the bit at the end first appeared here on December 26, 2018.
Current county councilman, city resident, regular reader and all-around good guy Dale Bagshaw posed an excellent question yesterday on social media.
Does anyone wonder why New Albany does not have any public restrooms in the downtown? The city is being reborn and we want people to walk, shop and dine downtown. The city council talked about restrooms in the farmers market expansion but took them out of the plan because of cost and purchased a restroom trailer. However, I drove by on Pearl Street today about 2:00 p.m. and it was gone. My wife and I go to other towns like Corydon, Madison and Nashville IN. They have public restrooms. Why not us? Just a thought — think the city could put public restrooms in the new city hall, maybe?
Yes, the city might install public restrooms in the new luxury city hall, and there’s one thing we know for sure: they’d be PAY toilets, with the credit card swipes plumbed directly to Jeff Gahan’s re-enthronement account.
Nickels and dimes, people. Nickels and dimes.
Here’s a reprise of NAC’s public restroom coverage from 2016, because while Da ‘Bune has two religion columnists, you don’t see the newspaper tackling public pissoirs for the people, do you?
It’s been a couple of years since public toilet mania in New Albany.
Meanwhile, Germany’s doing something about it …
Germany Found a Cheap Way to Fix Its Lack of Public Restrooms, by Feargus O’Sullivan (City Lab)
Welcome to the “Nice Toilet.”
… In Germany, it looks like there may be one that really works. The country’s Nette Toilette (“Nice Toilet”) system has created a compromise between public and private restrooms that makes such obvious sense it’s hard to believe that other countries aren’t doing it already too. It works like this. German cities pay businesses a monthly fee of anything from €30 to €100 ($33 to $110) a month to open up their restrooms for the general public. These businesses then put a sticker in their window to let the public know they’re welcome to use the facilities even if they’re not buying. First launched in 2000 and now including 210 member cities (including some in Switzerland), the network is a private one that charges participating cities a modest fee to use their branding. Sixteen years in, it’s still on a roll. At the end of October, the network announced that it is expanding to Munich, which will be its largest urban area yet.
… as is our nation’s capital.
… Finding a hygienic and accessible restroom on the street is a necessity for many, including homeless residents, seniors, and pregnant women—and a challenge in many U.S. cities, not just D.C. But a nationwide movement is building to create “more spaces for people to do private things,” as Alexandra Goldman, a community organizer in San Francisco, told CityLab. And now—years after D.C.’s bathroom committee conducted their first informal survey of publicly accessible private space—the city has taken the most sweeping action in the nation so far, passing the first Public Restroom bill of its kind.