I weigh in on public urination and the opinions flow.

June 5, 2009 at 10:01 pm 3 comments

I was asked about the revised urinal idea on C-FAX today (it’s also today’s poll), specifically if I thought it discriminated against women.

times colonist image of proposed urinal

I said first that there are devices that would allow women to use a urinal but really it is the fratboy/lager lout crowd that is primarily responsible for the unacceptable behaviour downtown. I was also asked whether this was catering to law-breakers (Murray Langdon’s editorial) but I pointed out that in daytime there are many washroom opportunities but practically nothing at night, so it’s a needed service.

Phillipe Lucas appeared via phone and he thought public toilets should take into account the disabled and parents with babies (but that adds another level of complication in my mind). I don’t think you need any special apparatus to change a baby in public and I seriously doubt any parent would take a baby into a urinal even if it came equipped with a change table.

Entry filed under: architecture, City Hall, media, social issues, urban design.

Globe discussion on SALOME project TC editorial: Inching closer to a urinal

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Stumpy  |  June 7, 2009 at 10:17 pm

    “he thought public toilets should take into account the disabled and parents with babies”


  • 2. robertrandall  |  June 8, 2009 at 8:27 am

    When I was on the City’s Downtown Advisory Committee we looked at the broader issue of Downtown washrooms which included signage, promotion, and improved facilities useful for the elderly, tourists, the disabled and parents of babies.

    These are all important and they are being (or will soon be) dealt with. But we have to follow through with the urinal plan which deals with a bothersome subset, and beware of “feature creep” which tempts us to come up with a magic bullet solution that becomes so unwieldly that the entire project gets bogged down.

  • 3. robertrandall  |  June 8, 2009 at 8:35 am

    Jack Knox of the TC comments in last Sunday’s paper:

    “The city estimates the [portable] urinals are utilized 24,000 times a year, at a cost of $70,000. At first, municipal workers calculated usage by sitting in a truck, clicking a counter each time someone sidled up. “That was a bit strange,” says Anderson. He doesn’t say how they estimate the numbers now (I envision something involving a calculator and dipstick) but my math says it works out to $3 a pee…”

    “Me, I say if they really want to stop public urination, they don’t need cops with ticket books, they need grandmothers with wooden spoons. Or, better yet, grannies with Tasers.


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