In our weekly poll, begun Sunday, June 9th, 54% of the respondents said the restrooms should be kept open, whereas 45% voted to close them at night. As of 10:00 a.m. 6/14/13, 71 people had taken the poll, with one claiming no opinion.
They should be open 24/7. – 54% ( 38 votes )
Close them up at night. – 45% ( 32 votes )
No opinion. – 1% ( 1 vote )
Cast your vote here:
As the SD Reader reported in late May, the restrooms which opened with a flourish due to their cutting edge art work and modernity, have been kept open 24 hours a day through the middle of April. Then the City hired a private security company to lock them up from midnight to the morning hours of 6:30.
These are the same public restrooms that received an Orchid in San Diego’s annual Onion and Orchid architectural contest last year.l
The City had given itself to run a trial on these new hours and that ended on May 15th. Yet the City is balking at closing them, as there are concerns that the trial period did not include the busy summer season and that more time was needed to gauge the issue.
Councilmember Kevin Faulconer was working with the Park and Recreation Department to give the trial more time, and they agreed to continue it for thirty days, which ends tomorrow, Saturday, June 15th.
The latest extension didn’t please everyone. The Reader quoted several members of the OB Town Council who were upset. Former Council head Jim Musgrove was quoted as saying:
“There was no discussion about a secondary trial period if there was no major damage. I don’t think this is acceptable.”
Faulconer’s new aide John Ly said that there was evidence of public urination outside the restrooms while it was closed during the first 30-day period, but there was no vandalism. Park and Rec want the “comfort station” open 24/7 – as are the restrooms at the lifeguard station. Musgove was quoted as saying that anyone urinating outside “should be a police issue, not a Park and Rec issue.”
Comments to the Reader article also display the division in the community.
One commenter stated:
When was some one attacked using the beach’s bathroom at night? I never heard anything about this? I’ve been to the beach at night often during grunion runs, for walks when I can’t sleep or sometimes with my boyfriend for a quiet romantic evening. I’ve never felt any fear while using the bathroom at night.
Is the town council trying to implement rules based on their own ideas and prejudice and not on the reality of what is happening? As far as I’m concerned, there is no need to lock the bathrooms up at night for my safety and security.
On the contrary, I need the bathrooms to be kept open so when I am at the beach at night, there is a place to take care of my biological needs. If I am not mistaken, our tax dollars paid for these bathrooms; the rules guiding them should be what the public needs… not what the town council wants.
Another commenter disagreed:
I agree it should be based on what the public needs. Closing them from midnight to 6:30 am seems to serve the majority of the public. The bathrooms at the lifeguard tower are open 24/7. Maybe four or five months ago I heard screaming coming from the bathrooms from as far away as the lifeguard station, when I entered to see what was going on I saw four bums drinking & “singing”. Keep the bathrooms closed at night.
With the community so divided, we here at the OB Rag hope the City, the Park and Rec Department and others in the neighborhood will agree to err on the side of liberality, and keep the public restrooms open all night. There is no danger to them being open and would help to alleviate a serious lack of public restrooms at the beach and in OB in general.