Phoenix considers installing 24-hour public restrooms downtown

By Christina Estes
Published: Tuesday, December 27, 2022 - 1:24pm
Updated: Wednesday, December 28, 2022 - 8:42am

Christina Estes/KJZZ
The Portland Loo was designed by a Portland manufacturer in conjunction with the city of Portland.

Phoenix could follow Portland’s lead and install specially designed public restrooms open 24 hours.

They’re called Portland Loos because they were designed by a Portland manufacturer specifically for the city of Portland to provide 24 hour access to people with no other options. The freestanding restrooms have graffiti resistant coating and open grating at the top and bottom so police and others can see how many people are inside.  

By January, Councilwoman Yassamin Ansari wants to see proposals for several locations, “You know if we had three what would the cost be, where would they go? If we had five what would the cost be, where would they go, etc.”

During a December council subcommittee meeting, Rachel Milne, Phoenix's homeless solutions director, said construction, shipping and delivery for a base model Portland Loo will cost about $135,000, “with additional safety and sanitary options the cost would be approximately $149,000” and do not include the include costs of a concrete foundation or connecting the restroom to sewer lines.

The discussion focused on providing public restrooms and chilled drinking water in the downtown core, identified to the north and east by Interstate 10 and to the south and west by Interstate 17. The city’s Office of Innovation is researching public drinking water systems around the world, including identifying new technologies and system designs while exploring potential partnerships to pilot two or three projects in 2023.

According to a city council report, unlimited access to unchilled water is available for people experiencing homelessness 24/7 at the Brian Garcia Welcome Center at the Human Services Campus and at the Respiro Shelter water station at Ninth Avenue and Jackson Street. Other options are available during business hours at 17 Human Services Campus partner facilities.


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