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Public restrooms only open during business hours

I was just wondering why restrooms along the Greenway, such as at U.S. Cellular Community Park, are quite often locked. Sometimes a restroom would be a nice convenience, especially for people jogging or biking for miles. Or is it OK to just find a bush?

— A loyal reader

We do like our loyal readers and hate to think they'd be subjected to any discomfort on the Greenway. Your question about bushes is one that has perplexed mankind only recently in the long history of human elimination. Flush toilets are a relatively new phenomenon, and a welcome one, in our humble opinion.

As a refresher course, Thomas Crapper of England wasn't the inventor of flush toilets, though he popularized and improved them in the 1800s. That distinction goes to Sir John Harrington, who wrote a tongue-in-cheek book on the subject in 1596 entitled, "A New Discourse upon a Stale Subject: The Metamorphosis of Ajax About His Invention."

What a mouthful. Anyway, rumor has it that both Crapper and John have had their names enshrined in the lexicon of toilets.

We checked in with the city of Medford, and the bathrooms at U.S. Cellular, Bear Creek and Hawthorne parks are open during normal business hours.

The new restroom next to field 7 at U.S. Cellular is partially closed because of vandalism. In fact, two of the three restrooms at the park are closed.

Vandalism has been a problem at other city-owned facilities, including in the Middleford garage next to Pear Blossom Park in downtown Medford.

The restroom at Railroad Park is typically open during lunch hours, when the park has the most visitors.

As to using the bushes, all we can say is, "When a man or woman has to go ..." But, be forewarned, Medford does have a municipal code against urinating or defecating in a public place other than a restroom.

— Send questions to “Since You Asked,” Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by email to youasked@mailtribune.com. We’re sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.