One of the outcomes of the most recent review of the infamous sit-lie ordinance, is that the city has been persuaded of the need for more public restrooms. This recognition on the part of the city is related to its agreement to decriminalize sitting on the sidewalk, finding approximately $750,000 for the entire program, part of which would go to provide an alternative, in the form of a drop in center of sorts, to this reality of homeless life.
Also in the new provision, is a determination to establish the availability of more public restrooms to counter the glaring lack of these essential facilities for people who have no alternative. In the account I read most recently about this pressing need, doubts were expressed that the restrooms could last long, because it was thought that they would quickly be destroyed by some of the people out there with the worst problems. Seattle's discouraging experience with the auto toilets was mentioned to illustrate this concern.
It's commendable to finally recognize and be willing to supply desperately needed essential facilities to members of the public with few or no other means, but it is not wise in doing so, to stop short of providing the circumstances that will ensure their continued availability to the people who need them. At this moment, I'm not exactly sure what arrangements would be appropriate and effective, except that somehow, these planned restrooms need to be supervised with a better level of supervision than currently available downtown public restrooms receive.
This probably calls for some kind of attendant to be regularly present, to go into the facility when it's unoccupied, and to ensure it's consistently kept clean for the next person.
Obviously, hiring qualified persons to do this job, may be more complicated than it seems. Maybe that's why the team that put this most recent provision together didn't decide to accompany the planned restroom facilities with such a quality contol measure. It seems like it's important to try and persuade the city to go just a bit further, and take the neccessary step to ensure, once these new facilities are available to those so desperately in need of them, that they will continue to be available to them for as long as they're needed.