Bangor Is Being Forced to Cut Back its Number of Public Bathrooms
Public restrooms are always kind of a debatable subject.
It seems no matter what city you're in, large or small, finding a place to use the bathroom can be tricky. On one hand, you'd think cities would want them all over the place to encourage more tourism and make sure that basic needs like the bathroom are easily met. But it's not always the case.
Same deal, cities large and small, have plenty of reasons to limit where you can go. While it's a great idea to set tourism up for success, a lot of public bathrooms are either straight-up abused, or they're used for illegal activities, such as a place to do drugs. Bangor has had a foot on both sides of that fence for a while, but it's not going to get better anytime in the near future.
The city will not be replacing any of the bathrooms it removed last year.
In 2021, the city had a number of public bathrooms, and also placed some portable bathrooms in different spots as well. In particular, one such spot near the Hope House in Bangor, bathrooms were often found with human feces smeared on walls, dirty needles strewn about, and just general misuse/abuse.
This forced the city to remove these spots because the company providing and servicing them said they were no longer safe for people to maintain. But by not replacing these bathrooms, advocates have brought it up that this will have a direct impact on Bangor's most in-need groups, such as the homeless and elderly.
Not to mention, they were incredibly expensive to maintain.
It costs Bangor over $70,000 a year to keep these bathrooms going. There's been some talk that the city could reallocate some funds to upgrade to better portable bathrooms, as they did in Portland, according to the BDN. But in the short term, Bangor will have to get by with a few fewer bathrooms than it had a year ago. Maybe the new transportation center being built in Pickering Square can help offset some of these losses?