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Downtown Columbus Public Restrooms To Open This Month

Downtown Columbus has a shortage of public toilets, but that’s about to change.

Columbus City Council voted to use federal grant funds to design and build permanent public restrooms downtown back in 2021, mostly along the High Street corridor. Installation is finally underway on those restrooms.

Capital Crossroads Special Improvement District (SID), in collaboration with the City of Columbus, is set to unveil three permanent public restrooms to enhance the safety and cleanliness of the city. The installation began on September 20, and these facilities will be fully operational later this month.

You can find these strategically placed restrooms at key intersections:

  • the northwest corner of High and Long Streets
  • the northeast corner of 3rd and Broad Streets
  • the southwest corner of High and Lynn Streets

The City’s partnership with SID aims to provide a vital amenity that benefits everyone in the downtown area.

Michael Stevens is the Director of Development for the City of Columbus. He expressed the significance of this initiative, stating, “We’re proud to offer this amenity to promote the safety and cleanliness of our downtown. These facilities are for commuters, joggers, festivalgoers, and families. Everyone in our downtown will benefit from this new amenity.”

The selected restrooms will follow the Portland Loo model, known for its durability, ease of maintenance, and safety features. The stainless-steel units will be attractive, easy to clean, and most importantly, free to use for everyone.

The “Loo” is pretty simple.

The single stall is an oval shape and it has an open-air-cage at the top and bottom to provide ventilation. The hand-washing sink is outside of the bathroom, which keeps lines from the restroom moving.

The City has partnered with the SID to ensure that these facilities remain clean and well-maintained. Cleaning will happen multiple times daily, seven days a week, with flexible schedules to accommodate variations in usage throughout the year and during special events.

Sandy Stephenson, Project Director with Southeast Healthcare and trustee with the Capital Crossroads SID Board, expressed gratitude for this forward-thinking initiative. “No longer will visitors, parents with kids that ‘have to go right now,’ bus riders, and people who are unsheltered have no good options when a public restroom is needed. These restrooms are a signal of respect for people’s needs and will improve our image of having a welcoming downtown.”

The project comes at an overall budget of $2 million, covering the purchase of the three Portland Loos, installation, engineering, permitting, and associated costs. The entire project has funding from federal grants, underscoring the commitment to enhancing downtown Columbus for all its residents and visitors.

These new public restrooms promise to be a valuable addition to downtown Columbus, contributing to its vibrancy, safety, and overall appeal. Whether you’re exploring the city, enjoying a festival, or strolling around, these facilities are set to make your downtown experience even more convenient and enjoyable.