"Portland City Commissioner Randy Leonard to inaugurate second public solar powered loo"
Wednesday he will take the inaugural flush of the city’s second public loo at 12:30 p.m. at Waterfront Park, Southwest Taylor and Southwest Naito Parkway.
Mayor-elect Sam Adams in 2008 christens Portland's first public loo with its initial flush while Commissioner Randy Leonard talks. Benjamin Brink/The Oregonian/2008.
Portland city commissioner Randy Leonard isn’t big on ribbon-cutting events or grip-and-grin photo ops.
But on Wednesday he will take the inaugural flush of the city’s second public loo at 12:30 p.m. at Waterfront Park, Southwest Taylor and Southwest Naito Parkway.
The city installed its first 24-hour solar-powered public potty in late 2008, on Northwest Glisan Street between 5th and 6th Avenues in Old Town.
It is a hit, and this new loo will be followed by two more this year. A third toilet is planned further north at Waterfront Park, near Saturday Market at Southwest Ash Street and Naito Parkway.
The one drawing the most controversy is a proposed public toilet in the Pearl District, at Northwest 11th Avenue and Kearney Street near Jamison Square that official neighborhood officials want but that some residents find alarming. It may open this summer, or early fall.
The loos cost about $60,000 apiece. The money comes from the general fund and is administered through the Portland Water Bureau, whose mission of delivering the best drinking water on earth doesn't have much to do with toilets.
That’s because Leonard is passionate about the issue. He thinks it’s a disgrace that there aren’t more public options in public spaces for people — whether they are homeless or from the West Hills — to relieve themselves.
"The Portland Loos are meant to be a unique solution to a universal problem. Everyone should have somewhere to take care of business with a little privacy and a little dignity,” he said in a statement.