What do you think of the port-a-potty at the Ballard Commons Park?
In June, a portable toilet, or a "Honey Bucket," was placed at the Ballard Commons Park. And now, as we head into the winter season, the City of Seattle Department of Human Services wants to know what you think about it.
A two week comment period, from Nov. 2 to Nov. 16, will be open for people to comment on the Honey Bucket. To make things easier, they created a survey for you to take on SurveyMonkey, which can be found at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/HGVD39Y
Some community residents have expressed concerns over the Honey Bucket, saying that it attracted homeless people and encouraged them to camp over night. Others were concerned about drug use and public drinking. To date, there is no data or solid evidence that the bathroom has increased activity or "residency" from people who are homeless.
At the Ballard Community Taskforce on Homelessness and Hunger, the subject of the Honey Bucket was brought up. Taskforce Chair Graham Pruss said that the City was deciding whether to keep it keep it year-round or to only have it during summer months.
One member said aloud, "But the need (to go to the bathroom) is year-round!"
Pruss said in a previous interview that the need for public restrooms is great, especially during the night hours. He said the alternative is that homeless people will have to urinate and defecate out in public, which creates hygiene problems for residents and businesses.
The survey asks residents whether they would like to see continued use of the Honey Bucket, for how many months of the year, if there are any concerns or issues people have seen with the Honey Bucket, whether they think there is a need for it in downtown Ballard, and whether they think it can be moved to a different location.