The most disgusting public toilet in Boston? makes the case for the pay toilet at the Commercial Street bocce courts (with photo to bolster the claim).



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    The metro actually just

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    The metro actually just ripped off previous NorthEnd and Herald stories.

    Public Toilets

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    These public toilets need to go. They attract riffraff to otherwise nice areas and are eyesores. Less is more; there is something simply unattractive about a giant black cylindrical object in the middle of an otherwise unimpeded sidewalk.

    But *I* need to go! Where do

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    But *I* need to go!

    Where do you suggest I go instead?

    Riffraff are people too.
    If they aren't breaking the law they have just as much right as you to be there.


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    What would you do if you needed to use the restroom in a small suburban town without these public toilets? As an aside, things seemed to be fine in Boston before these eyesores were installed. Look, if someone is going to break the law and publicly urinate, they're going to do so. I don't have much faith that these public toilets will prevent people from breaking public urination laws. What I do have faith in is their ability to attract all sorts of unsavory activities, particularly intravenous drug users.

    What would I do in the suburbs?

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    I drive all over New England and here are some exurban bathroom tips. Irving Gas Stations take pride on their clean bathrooms. If you are around during regular business hours, most town halls are open for your use.

    Also, if you are in the Route 128 or I-495 rings, many office buildings, especially multi-tenant ones have no security and no locks on the bathrooms during regular business hours.

    Always; Dunkin Donuts, Supermarkets, McDonald's, etc. have good bathrooms. I always find Hannaford and Roche Bros. have the cleanest, Stop & Shop the least.

    As far as your concern for the dirty needle crowd, you must see evil everywhere. If you see someone shooting up or needles around a pay toilet, call those people with the badges and guns. Someone told me they are around to enforce these laws things that we are supposed to obey.


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    Sadly, evil is everywhere

    When travelling in France

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    Every stinking little burg and village had public restrooms and signs pointing to them.

    I don't get why Bostonians think their shit doesn't stink or shouldn't be shat.

    Generally speaking, whre

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    Generally speaking, whre there is a hotel lobby, Dunkin Donuts, or McDonalds, there is a (clean) public probably are never more than 1000 feet from anyone of those places in downtown Boston....

    I agree, but

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    Depending on the time of night, many of those places are closed (or are much more restrictive on who they allow into the restrooms.) Let's face it, the biggest offenders of public urination are people who have been drinking, and when the T closes at 12 am and the bars get out at 2 am, people walk home.

    A 20 minute walk after drinking pretty much guarantees a need for a bathroom, and not much will be open at that hour.

    No, they do not.

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    The city just needs a program where public toilets are available in key locations and maintained on a regular basis.

    What is "unattractive" is someone in pain from holding his/her urine or feces in while they run around the city searching for a public restroom.

    A Right?

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    Since when did relieving one's self anywhere become a right?

    How about a necessity?

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    Relieving one's self is a fact of life.

    Another fact. Folks walk around the city. They will need to pee and poop. Since we do not want them urinating or defecating on the ground and since we like to think we are a living in a civil society, providing public restrooms is a service that many cities, such as Boston and London (which does it much better), deem it is important to provide.


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    How many times do you need to pee and/or poop per day?!?!?

    Wall USA or whatever company

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    Wall USA or whatever company is running Meninos public toilet and the sidewalk billboard campaign need to be fired, the sidewalk billboards block sidewalk passage and the toilets and bus stops are dirty and not well maintained. Cambridge and Somervilles simialar program for bus stops (they wisely dont sell sidewalk space for billboards) are much cleaner and look a lot nicer (and the maps are updated!) Hopefully our next mayor will see that selling sidewalk space for billboards is not worth making Boston less pedestrian friendly.

    The street furniture contract

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    The street furniture contract for kiosks, maps, benches, bus stops, bathrooms, etc started out as Wall USA and were well maintained on a daily basis (each bus stop was literally SCRUBBED once every day). Then that company changed hands a few times and its been downhill with each name change.

    Typical Boston. Come up with something nice, forget about it after about 2 years, neglect it, then become enraged when it is falling apart.

    There are these sidewalk

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    There are these sidewalk billboards at Alewife.

    I'm not sure if they're under Cambridge's or the T's contract. The one in the background looks like it's on Cambridge property.

    Aren't these supposed to be self-cleaning?

    When these were installed (after great public demand), they were supposed to be copies of a technology used in Europe, where the toilet closes briefly for self-cleaning after each use. Is that broken, or not properly installed?

    not copies - they are the same ones - and that's part of problem

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    According to a segment on WGBH's Greater Boston last night, these auto-johns are manufactured in Germany, and any replacement parts need to be ordered and sent overseas from there.

    The segment painted a pretty dismal picture of these things, with just one functioning the first time they looked at them. They communicated this to the city govt official in charge and were told later that all but one were now fucnctioning. The GB reporter went out the next day and found only a few of the nine were actually working - and most that weren't were refusing to return people's change.


    Well, that's a huge barrier

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    Parts sent from overseas, yes. Soooo difficult!

    Doesn't seem to be an impediment for any other sort of device that needs parts ... like, um, cars and bikes and photocopiers, etc.

    Overnight plus overseas = not likely

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    I laughed when I read your list. I've had to overseas-ship parts for a foreign car - believe me, it doesn't arrive overnight, and if it's big and heavy, it might take a few weeks. (And I thought people stopped having to overseas-ship replacement parts for copiers in 1993.)

    But since you think that poor foresight re: sourcing is not part of the problem with these things, I guess you figure it's just blatant nastiness? The Little Corporal begs to differ:

    Never ascribe to malice that which is adequately explained by incompetence. - Napoleon Bonaparte

    Did anyone really think these things would actually work?

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    Did anyone really think these things would actually work? Ever? I remember back when they were first introduced to Boston with great fanfare, and I had to laugh even then. I think the only people who were happy were the homeless, who immediately set up housekeeping in them. These things were a joke from day one.

    Excellent Idea!

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    I've thought of that often myself. And an app, for when you're out and about and need to find a potty fast. Too bad I'm technically inept.

    well, close enough...

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    The Wicked Pissah Blog rates Boston area bathrooms, complete with pertinent information such as its hours of operation and whether it's a single person or multi-stall bathroom.


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    This sounds a bit Seinfeldish...

    Dudley Public Toilet

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    The toilet at Dudley station hasn't worked in months and the station has become a public urinal