15 January 2010

When you have to go... (redux)

Mike Howell in the Courier this week mentioned my blog from last September, on public toilets, so I thought I would reprint it for the benefit of those visiting for the first time:

It’s a fact of life, perhaps one we don’t want to acknowledge, but we all have to go sometimes. We all try to go at home, but sometimes we can be caught short. For most of us this is an inconvenience, but for those who don’t have a home or for those who need to go frequently, this is a chronic problem. Public conveniences have been available since at least the time of the Roman Empire—in fact until recent times, public lavatories were all that was available except for the very rich. Towns and cities had public conveniences for the masses but over time a lot of them have been decommissioned and removed. Many cities are now rebuilding these.

Here in Vancouver we are fortunate to have several public washrooms installed by the city, and many more throughout the city in our public parks. A debate on the cost and necessity of these park facilities is coming before the Park Board in the next year, and I would like to know your views on these facilities. Do you think they are important? Should scarce public funds be used for public toilets? Every park can’t support a public washroom, so which ones should?

Let me know what you think. Write to me at: betterparks@gmail.com or drop a line to the Park Board.

1 comment:

  1. Christopher JK Richardson, FCA (former Park Commissioner 1986 to 1990 and 1999 to 2002)November 25, 2010 at 9:57 PM

    Well Stuart .. maybe it is an age thing or is it that some do not get out and enjoy our wonderful system OR maybe we just need to ensure that the Park Board is not chronically underfunded ... but sometime the call comes and it is sure nice to know that there are clean facilities readily available be along Spanish Banks, Coal Harbour, the Fraser River or where ever. This ties back to one of your observations last budget cycle -- Vancouverites have said that they ARE WILLING TO PAY MORE for parks and recreation, if they are getting value SO why does this Council seem to want to be SO fiscally responsible that we are cutting an after-school position (Champlain Heights) or cutting weekend hours (Dunbar) to just make do and do not get me started on the children's zoo -- so some kids will not ever see a cow or piglet up close until they are how old ?... I am sure glad for Sesame Street ... let's begin the conversation before it is too late ...