MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — There are currently 29 public restrooms in downtown Minneapolis. Local officials want to bring that number up to 100.
The Minneapolis Downtown Improvement District announced The 100 Public Restrooms Project Thursday, a plan to bring more restrooms downtown, and to make those places easier to find.
As part of this effort, the DID is asking downtown businesses to open up their private restrooms to the public. Participating businesses can signify their availability with window signage. According to the DID, a lack of available restrooms leads individuals to urinate in public places, putting the burden of cleanup on the city and property owners.
In addition to its public restrooms, including those in libraries, government buildings and parks, downtown also has three portable restrooms open 24 hours a day.
John Sweeney, owner of the Brave New Workshop downtown, said having a portable restroom on his block is a “big step towards making the public realm in our neighborhood clean and welcoming.”
“The 100 Restrooms Project is really about our community meeting our own basic human needs,” Sweeney said in a statement.
Recommendations for the project comes partly from a June study by fellows at the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs. The study looked at public restroom infrastructure in cities including Denver, Washington D.C. and Toronto.
To help visitors of downtown locate these restrooms, the DID and City of Minneapolis will install signage along busy downtown sidewalks pointing to the nearest public restrooms.
“This initiative will raise awareness that we’re not starting at Square 1 and will provide wayfinding for the public to more effectively find currently available restroom options while also opening up the conversation for the private business community to join in this effort,” said Steve Cramer, president and CEO of the DID, in a statement.