The city is conducting a study and holding public meetings to evaluate current conditions and future needs.
Berkeley wants to know what its residents think of public restrooms.
The city is conducting a citywide study and is holding a series of public meetings, culminating tomorrow, to gather input on the current conditions and future needs of its public bathrooms.
Resident Martin Nicolaus, an organizer with the Chavez Park Conservancy, attended the Oct. 22 meeting concerning the downtown area. He said improvements are necessary.
“We are so far behind other cities, it’s embarrassing,” said Nicolaus, who has been researching municipalities as far away as Manteca to get ideas of how Berkeley should proceed.
The final public meeting, about West Berkeley, will be held Wednesday, Nov. 6. Earlier meetings covered the Adeline Corridor Telegraph Area.
Residents approved Measure T1 by a landslide in 2016. The $100 million bond measure is slated to go toward infrastructure projects, which includes public restrooms during its first phase.
The city’s goal is to evaluate current restroom facilities, get community input, and research ecologically friendly options. Authorities hope to have some ideas for locations and designs, as well as upgrades for existing facilities, by December.
Cost analysis comes later in the process, as the city needs time to put together infrastructure recommendations for Measure T1 across a wide swath of departments with their own ideas about what the city needs.
“If we can identify appropriate locations (for new restrooms), we hope to bring a final list of sites to the (City Council) in June 2021,” said Roger Miller, the city’s project manager.
Miller and consultant Meg Prier went over current sites near downtown and where calls to the city’s non-emergency 311 number for non-emergency service calls have originated.
They also looked at where the city’s unhoused people typically gather and routes between commercial areas and public transit, where people going to and from work — and bus drivers on a break — might need a restroom.
They highlighted areas with no facility within a quarter mile.