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Subjects

Public toilets -- Oregon -- Portland -- Evaluation, Local transit -- Oregon -- Portland

Abstract

The emphasis on sustainable solutions in Portland, Oregon includes developing multi-modal transportation methods. Using public transit means giving up a certain amount of control over one’s schedule and taking on a great deal of uncertainty when it comes to personal hygiene. Buses, the MAX, and the Streetcar – the cornerstones of public transit in Portland – are not equipped with toilets and rarely are their stations, while most shops and restaurants reserve toilets for patrons only. As a result, many people may bypass public transit in favor of cars, which afford travelers greater autonomy and flexibility. Theories of New Urbanism endorse urban lifestyles, where all a person’s needs are within a “twenty-minute neighborhood.” The reality is that many people commute to work or school outside that radius. As sustainability focuses on public transit, it must also consider the needs of the public for hygiene and dignity. Using data from an online survey of Portlanders and applying New Urbanism’s lens, this article examines the relationship between public toilet availability and public transit usage. Understanding this correlation may enable communities, planners, and administrators to create sound strategies that may increase ridership and align with sustainability goals.

DOI

10.15760/mcnair.2014.46

Persistent Identifier

http://archives.pdx.edu/ds/psu/12674

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