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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

New Portland Loo Heading to North Park Blocks

Posted by Denis C. Theriault on Tue, Jan 10, 2012 at 2:29 PM

The Portland Loo pushed out a big announcement on its Facebook page this afternoon:

Screen_shot_2012-01-10_at_1.40.19_PM.png

So I rang up Commissioner Randy Leonard's office to ask about those forthcoming "more details." Staffer Anna DiBenedetto said the Loo is headed for the northwest corner of NW Eighth and Couch, with the first flush planned for about 1 pm January 31. The door art will be drawn up by schoolkids from nearby Emerson Elementary, and the kids will probably attend the flush.

It'll be the fifth 24-hour Loo in Portland—and the second one west of Broadway. The city opened its first in 2008 on NW 5th and Glisan, and then opened three more back in 2010, at SW Taylor and Naito, at SW Ash and Naito, and in Jamison Square.

As I mentioned last spring, planners have had their eyes on the Park Blocks for months, conducting a slow dance with neighbors before settling on the final location.

The North Parks Blocks site, however, got a big nudge from Mayor Sam Adams, DiBenedetto says. He offered cash for a pair of Loos in the city's current budget, with the expectation that one would open near closed brick-and-mortar restrooms near SW Ankeny and West Burnside.

The Loos are open and airy, letting cops see who's inside and how long they've been there. The Ankeny bathrooms didn't afford cops that kind of luxury.

"It was such a problem bathroom," DiBenedetto says, with "syringes and clogged toilets and all that jazz. So the mayor said, 'can we get a bathroom in that area?'"

And so we did. There's money in the budget for one more this year. Let's keep 'em coming.

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