Over the last few years, we have heard a lot about the need for more public toilets in some Maine communities.

Not surprisingly, many of the discussions have centered around Portland.

In recent years, the city has seen a big influx of homeless.  On top of that, during the summer months, the city is inundated with tens of thousands of tourists each week.

According to a recent WGME article, Portland already has some public restrooms.  However, most of those are located in the Old Port.  As a result, this has created public toilet deserts in much of the city.

The article goes on to explain that Portland Downtown is hoping to install additional toilets before the start of tourist season.

This situation has got some people asking if all Maine cities and towns should be required to have public toilets in downtown areas.

Should all Maine towns and cities be required to have public toilets?

Many already do.  Boothbay Harbor, for example.  And Freeport has some located at the Freeport Village Station outlet mall.

Considering tourism is one of the state’s biggest industries and that we have a lot of walkable towns worth visiting, doesn’t it make sense that most towns should be required to have at least a few public toilets?

filmbetrachterin / unsplash
filmbetrachterin / unsplash

Clearly, it does not make sense for all towns to have them.  It would not make sense for a town of 4,500 people without much tourist traffic to be required to have public restrooms.  However, it seems like it would be a big benefit to visitors and businesses if all tourist towns had them.

You’d need to put some prerequisites on the rule.  For example, a minimum population and a minimum percentage of local business revenue coming from tourist dollars.

Of course, some people are going to say that a rule like this is just another example of the government forcing the people to pay for something that is unneeded.  But there are some economic benefits to such a program.

It makes the state’s towns and cities more appealing to people in certain situations.  For example, those with young children or those with medical conditions that cause them to need to “go” more frequently.  Also (and this is especially true in the busier tourist towns), it prevents business employees from having to deal with people who just want to come in to use the bathroom.

What do you think?  Let us know your opinion by sending us a message inside our app.

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