A pleasant hour in the park yesterday with the ironing board, upwind from the porta-potties, put the petition campaign for better bathrooms over the 250 signature mark. That’s an average of about one a minute. Copies of the petitions, with the contact information greyed out, are posted here.
As before, both men and women signed, but women were more adamant. “These are awful.” “I can’t use them. If I need to go I go home first.” “It is very unpleasant.” “Disgusting.” And so on.
Visitors were quick to draw comparisons with other cities. The Richmond Marina has great bathrooms very clean, said one. There’s very good bathrooms in Oakland at Lake Merritt, said another. “Berkeley has kind of fallen behind,” one visitor observed.
As it happened, there were several visitors from out of town and out of the country. The park is such a draw that some visitors include it on their “must see” list when in town. “You would never see anything like this in Portland,” said a couple visiting from Oregon. “People in Australia would be shocked, they would not accept this,” according to a woman doing the tourist thing here. “This would be impossible in Denmark,” said a woman who visits here often. “We teach our kids and grandkids to wash their hands after using the bathroom and you can’t even do that here.”
I’ll be in the park with the ironing board again whenever I get time. If anyone would like to join me or set up a second board, please contact me via this website.