PORT ANGELES – A longtime effort to provide 24-hour restrooms in the downtown area began this week with demolition of the restroom building at the Breezeway Parking Lot.
The city’s 24-hour restroom pilot project is adding two Portland Loo restrooms at the Breezeway — a parking lot so named because it is north of the breezeway off First Street — and one at The Gateway transit center. Installation is scheduled for late December or early January. Temporary restrooms are available at the northeast corner of the parking lot while the work continues.
An aging public restroom in the Breezeway Parking Lot has been demolished.
“The city council did prioritize creating more accessible public restrooms in the city budget several years ago, and that is partly responsible for the changes we’re seeing going in on the ground now,” Port Angeles City Council member Lindsey Schromen-Wawrin wrote in an email.
“Public restrooms are a part of our transportation system and our public infrastructure. The Portland Loo is designed to be open 24 hours a day, and when properly sited it provides enough privacy to use the restroom while not too much privacy to use the space for other purposes,” he wrote.
The cost to purchase three 24-hour stand-alone public restrooms was $517,689. Construction costs are $211,855.36.
The Portland Loo single-occupant restroom design is ADA-compliant, easy to maintain, and uses Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) principles to discourage illegal activities and generate higher usage rates.
Each restroom will include stainless steel posts, toilet, and wall panels for durability and easy cleaning; angled louvers for privacy; a skylight; baby changing station; recessed handwashing station with air dryer, tempered water, and soap dispenser; and hand sanitizer.
Unlike many of the existing concrete block restrooms located throughout Port Angeles, the new facilities will not require winterization during the cold months.
Project Manager David Wegener wrote in an email that the city worked with Public Hygiene Lets Us Stay Human (PHLUSH) to determine suitable locations. PLUSH is a nonprofit organization that advocates for accessible public restrooms.
The city conducted a public restrooms assessment in 2019 as part of a planned multi-year replacement project. The city council approved the purchase of the restrooms in May 2022. The construction contract with local contractor 2Grade was approved in September 2022.
Staff worked with Public Hygiene Lets Us Stay Human (PHLUSH) to determine suitable locations.
The public restrooms in city parks and stand-alone locations are generally open from dawn to dusk. In the winter, hours are from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on weekdays and 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends.
The city council was flooded with public testimony in November 2018 from residents who complained about human waste and trash accumulating at Veterans Memorial Park and other city properties.
The city’s parks and recreation director, Corey Delikat has said the city’s public restrooms have required more maintenance in recent years because of spikes in vandalism, needles being flushed and other inappropriate uses.
Reporter Brian Gawley can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.