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looblog

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Newsletters

Cold Weather ToiletLink

Improving Sanitation, Improves LivesLink

The Portland Loo Just Keeps Getting Better and BetterLink

Who Needs A Portland Loo?Link

Is Your Public Toilet Solution Keeping Up With The Times?Link

How To Site Your LooLink

Crime Prevention Through Environmental DesignLink

Winter Months and The Portland LooLink

The Loo Goes Off Grid Link

The Portland Loo Goes OverseasLink


Articles

Portland“For the residents of Portland, Ore., taking a whiz in a public toilet is not just a matter of necessity. It’s an act of civic pride.”Link

Arcata“Numerous city leaders, news media and other looky-loos attended a toilet paper-ribbon cutting ceremony at the corner of F and 8th streets this morning to dedicate and officially open Arcata’s new public shitter.”Link

San Diego“The “inaugural flush” of San Diego’s first Portland Loo was performed at a special ribbon-cutting hosted by Council member Marti Emerald Wednesday, Dec. 3 at the southwest corner of 14th and L streets Downtown.”Link

Monterey“Located in Simoneau Plaza, the city’s transit hub, the loo will help provide relief to scores pedestrians in downtown Monterey, and will replace two nearby Porta-Potties.”Link

Victoria“The only Portland Loo outside of Portland was sold to Victoria, British Columbia and installed almost exactly one year ago, and already it is making a name for itself with the prestigious popularly selected “ Canada’s Best Restroom” award!”Link

Nanaimo“A new stainless steel toilet aims to give relief to late-night tinklers.”Link

Ketchikan“With public restrooms few and far between in downtown Ketchikan, the much-needed facility was opened light-heartedly with plungers, poo cookies, and toilet-paper-for-napkins on hand. Borough Transit Director Kyan Reeve says the state-of-the-art design is used in Portland, Oregon and cost less than $100,000.”Link

Seattle“Seattle is trying yet again to relieve itself of its Pioneer Square public-toilet problem.”Link

Cincinnati“Two years ago, Cincinnati City Council shot down the idea of 24-hour restrooms fearing the cost, even though they are seen as a humane way to provide 24-hour restroom facilities for the homeless. Well, Cincinnati Parks Director Willie Carden didn’t give up on the idea of the “Portland Loo.”Link


The beginning

The idea for a Public restroom began with Portland’s City Commissioner, Randy Leonard. The city of Portland had seen a rise in the homeless population and without restroom facilities the homeless were left to find somewhere else to take care of business. Having a restroom open 24 hours a day provided full public access without disturbing local businesses for their restroom facilities. While this problem is not unique to Portland, most cities as well as parks are realizing the need for a public restroom.

Since the Portland Loo was intended to be open year round, ensuring safety and cleanliness needed to be a priority. Making certain the occupants would not loiter, but still allow privacy, was a needed feature of the Loo. The Loo has angled lower louvers that allow viewing of the floor but never expose more than the occupant’s feet. By coating the restroom in anti-graffiti powder coating, it is able to stay clean with little maintenance. A hand washing station was placed on the outside to encourage users to leave the restroom to wash, rather than continue to occupy it thus allowing more efficient use should a line were to form. On the restroom’s roof is a solar panel, which charges batteries that power the lights. Since solar power alone won’t always be enough, there is also a fixed AC cable, which ensures that the restroom will always function.

The Loo is made from heavy 304 stainless steel but is engineered to be light enough for easy transport to unique locations. It is large enough to be handicap accessible and hold a stroller or bike for the occupant. The first Loo was installed in downtown Portland at 5th and Glisan in 2008. The location was near the Portland Train Station and several nightclubs to accommodate the volume of pedestrians that travel through the area.

The first Loo has been extremely successful. Six more have since been installed in downtown Portland. Most recently the City of Victoria, Canada purchased a Portland Loo and found great success with it. The Loos are maintained by the City of Portland and the maintenance personnel have described them as the simplest restroom to maintain. The Portland Loo has been welcomed by the city for its sleek design and efficiency but it is also a symbol for the unique culture that Portland attracts. While the Loo is headed toward long-term success in the City of Portland, it has already been awarded “The Best Public Restroom in Canada” by the Cintas Corporation. The Loo beat out all other public restrooms in the third annual contest to take 1st place.

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