San Diego’s first “Portland Loo” public toilet is officially open for business in the East Village.
The first flush occurred at a ribbon cutting for the new public toilet Wednesday at the southwest corner of 14th and L Streets.
The toilet is the first of its kind in the city. Previously, the only 24/7 access to a toilet would be through a portable toilet.
The metal public restroom, named after the Oregon city that first inspired the idea, will be free and open to the public. It is located in the East Village near Petco Park, where many homeless people congregate.
Girls Think Tank, along with other organizations, worked on the project for several years leading up to Wednesday’s ribbon cutting ceremony.
“We know that one restroom is far from enough, and are emboldened to continue our work so all San Diegans have access to a dignified place to go,” the Think Tank said on their website.
The issue of a public first came to public discourse in August 2009, when the Think Tank’s Basic Dignity Coalition convened and members of the homeless voiced concerns with having no dignified place to go. The organization worked with the Task Force on Public Restrooms and other groups to advocate for the toilet.
The city previously approved a plan to bring the new restroom to the city several years ago.