Portable toilets put lid on public urination

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INNER-city dwellers finally have a pot to pee in.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 09/09/2008 (5136 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

INNER-city dwellers finally have a pot to pee in.

A Main Street business erected two port-a-potties near the corner of Higgins Avenue and Main Street two weeks ago in an effort to cut down on public urination.

Wins Bridgman, owner of Bridgman Collaborative Architecture, said the portable toilets will remain on the property for three months as part of a pilot project between his company and the Downtown Biz.

Downtown Biz is paying $750 for the rental toilets and Bridgman’s company is covering the liability insurance.

Bridgman’s architecture firm sent a letter to Mayor Sam Katz about the ongoing problem of public urination in the downtown core. Bridgman said he never heard back from city hall and decided to pursue the pilot project to see if it could make a difference.

He said the lack of public washrooms in the area robs people of their dignity and also contributes to an unsavoury smell in the neighbourhood.

“All of a sudden, Main Street doesn’t smell like urine anymore,” Bridgman said.

After two weeks, Bridgman said the port-a-potties haven’t been abused and have been kept in clean, safe condition. There was a concern the portable toilets could be used as drug shacks, but Bridgman said that so far, the results have been positive.

The company is in the process of getting a permit from the City of Winnipeg for the toilets, as the firm were unaware they needed one until late last week.

Bridgman said the port-a-potties are not a permanent solution, but are a step in the right direction.

“The big plus is we don’t see them urinating in the street,” he said. “It may not be the perfect place or facility, but it’s a start.”

jen.skerritt@freepress.mb.ca

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