Wouldn't it help the "defecation" problem to provide more public restrooms? I know there could be a vandalism problem, but it seems like that could be mostly prevented by the appropriate construction, or hiring an attendant. After all, everybody needs to go.

Carolyn S., Medford

 

Indeed they do, Carolyn. And, we've got to admit, we never thought a family newspaper would have so much discussion of defecation issues as it has over the past couple of years.

As to your question, Medford has tried to build bathrooms that are less subject to vandalism, but to no avail.

There are several bathrooms located in the Middleford parking garage, located on Sixth Street and Riverside Avenue that have been shut down because of ongoing vandalism.

The parks system also shuts bathrooms down at night, partly because of vandalism issues. Even when the bathrooms are open, they're still subject to vandalism.

Medford has installed a portable bathroom in Alba Park to help with complaints about potty issues. Again, the city continues to receive complaints from nearby businesses after the installation of the portable bathroom.

An attendant is a possibility, but having one on hand 24 hours a day would cost the city some money, particularly if the bathrooms in parks near the downtown were all monitored.

The Parks and Recreation Department is in the process of signing up local community members for a parks watch program, who would monitor parks and inform city officials if they notice vandalism or unwanted behavior.

Maybe that's a step in the right direction, and maybe it will provide the kind of relief you're looking for in this city, Carolyn.

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