When you gotta go, you gotta go. There’s nothing complicated about the fact that downtown needs public bathrooms. Very simply, if people aren’t confident that they have an option when nature calls, then they’re going to adjust their behavior; that means they’ll leave downtown early or not come to begin with.
Further, it is not reasonable or appropriate to lay this burden entirely on private property owners and businesses. Beyond that, many downtown buildings are not universally accessible, and our businesses do not have common standard hours. Each are a barrier to solving this problem.
This is a high-priority item for the continued growth and success of downtown.
The DBPA previously advocated for the inclusion of all-day or later-hour public, accessible bathrooms as a part of the City Hall relocation and renovation. There was success in part; the restrooms in City Hall will be open to the public during regular City business hours. That still leaves downtown short of a true public and accessible bathroom option during early mornings and evenings. Evenings especially are times when we’re seeing increased traffic at restaurants and shops that are open.
Location, Location, Location. It’s critical that we get this asset in the right spot. Building it simply to check an item off a list is not the right approach.
The DBPA will continue to advocate for public bathrooms either as a standalone facility or as inclusion in another joined opportunity.
Pictured Above: Public Restrooms in downtown Spearfish, South Dakota.