Reader Rant: ‘OB public restrooms are a disgrace.’

by on January 15, 2015 · 9 comments

in Civil Rights, Culture, Environment, History, Ocean Beach, Reader Rant

The Women's Room sinks.

The Women’s Room sinks.

By Matthew Smith

I was wondering if the OB Rag had ever done any investigation into the horrible state of the public bathrooms at the OB beaches?

I regularly visit the beaches and each day Parks and Rec staff clean the bathrooms at 7 o’clock or 8 o’clock in the morning – every morning. There are two toilets in the main lifeguard tower bathroom and two more in the bathrooms on the beach near Brighton Ave. I’ve only seen the men’s bathrooms so these are the ones I’m asking about.

Every single day by noon all four toilets are clogged and unusable. This happens every day.

Isn’t there a way Parks and Rec can create a better bathroom situation? Or figure out how to keep the bathrooms from getting clogged every day?

Is it just that they are terrible toilets? Why did they use the same toilets as in the old lifeguard bathrooms in the new bathroom if the old ones always get clogged?This makes the bathrooms unusable.\

OB’s restrooms are always disgusting and the second toilet in the Brighton bathroom doesn’t even have a door on the bathroom stall. This forces any user who enters in the morning to find a homeless person sleeping in the doors toilet to have to take a crap in front of every child that walks in to the bathroom. How humiliating.

Isn’t the Park and Rec Department aware that every day all the toilets become clogged? Aren’t they going to do anything to make it a better situation? I have never seen such a bad bathroom situation in the many cities [I visit]. This bathroom situation at the OB beaches is a disgrace.

Have you looked into this issue?

Editor: We sure have Matthew and actually the restrooms at the Life Guard Station are one of our pet peeves. See the following by clicking on the links:

What OB Needs for Christmas: New Library, New Lifeguard Station, and New Public Restrooms

Now that we’re talking public restrooms in OB …

New Ocean Beach Brighton Restrooms – Local and Artsy But Without Stall Doors

The City of San Diego Is So Dysfunctional, It Can’t Even Build a Public Restroom at the Beach



{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

RK January 15, 2015 at 12:39 pm

I agree Matthew. This has been a problem forever pretty much in OB. It’s so disgusting, I don’t ever go there anyways. Truly sad, you think the situation would improve, but that will never happen. Public toilets near any beaches is disgusting period.


Sarah January 15, 2015 at 1:32 pm

Don’t get me started! If we build more bathrooms it will just make more bums come to OB! Or that’s the feedback I have received anytime I’ve publicly addressed the issue. At one town council meeting a very nice local lady told me, “There have always been enough bathrooms for us.” With the emphasis on “us”, and we know who “us” isn’t, right?

The lack of public hygiene facilities in OB is shameful and embarrassing. Newport Avenue is really nothing more than a shopping mall with bars and if it were actually a shopping mall there would be requirements for restrooms.


Veronica January 15, 2015 at 2:43 pm

Sadly, the restrooms are usually unsanitary, and smell horrible. I don’t think we can put all the blame on those who clean the restrooms, nor, can we be angry at homeless persons for their lack of facilities. This is common in many beach restrooms, but unfortunately, OB has it pretty bad. I do agree that there should be additional facilities added on Newport, but wouldn’t the same issue occur?

What have other cities done to help with the issue, specifically those which have a high homeless population?


Tara January 15, 2015 at 2:46 pm

I second the motion, Sarah. Where is the merchants’ association when we need them? This very issue causes “discomfort” for residents, who can “rush home” if necessary, but what about our visitors, whomever they might be? Must they resort to buying a soda or getting a cup of coffee in a restaurant to have clean facilities to use?

Back East, where I visit in the summer, there are many, many tourists and “down for the day-ers” at the beach towns. In each instance, there are ample and clean public facilities, often including showers, available everywhere. These are maintained/sponsored by Chambers of Commerce, city and state parks, and so on…

Why a merchant or any sort of town father/mother wouldn’t see this as a top priority is beyond me, and shameful in every regard.


Debbie January 15, 2015 at 3:41 pm

Call Turko and have him meet you at the bathrooms at Noon. Media is the only way you get this city to do much of anything.

Ask the OBMA what they can do about the poo poo :-)


Derek January 15, 2015 at 4:02 pm

Porta-johns on construction sites and at festival locations have a chart on the doors that indicates how many people it is intended to service in a certain period between cleanings. The same program should be adopted for beach toilets… ie: more toilets or more frequently cleaned based on the typical number of beach goers in each particular month. I know, I know,… Anyone else who works construction is saying that those never get cleaned often enough either…. And that is true but the standard still exists.


onlysumr January 16, 2015 at 8:57 am

Much of the responsibility for this mess should fall on the users. Many of us were taught at a very early age to clean up after ourselves.


Gail January 16, 2015 at 6:14 pm

Went walking at Pacific Beach down to Belmont Park earlier today. The picnic grounds were green and clean, and the restrooms were spotless. Tax $$ being spent there for sure.


Kathy January 16, 2015 at 8:15 pm

The restrooms on Brighton were unexpectedly torn down a few years ago, and replaced with a row of porta-potties, apparently substandard for the homeless folk who preferred pissing in the bushes outside the fences of Dog Beach residents.

It took a day to demolish and 3 years to rebuild for $1.2 million, featuring artsy murals, no privacy doors and warm showers.

What’s wrong with this picture? This kinda $ is spent on homes with as many toilets, plus luxury amenities that include gourmet kitchens and lush grounds.

It’s just another attractive nuisance for the pigs who make our beach a ghetto and the contractor industry who’s in the pockets of local politicians.


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