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Cambridge surveys seek to flush out public toilet issues

Posted by Brock Parker  October 9, 2013 03:13 PM

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After hearing calls for a public toilet near Harvard Square, Cambridge officials are now leading online surveys asking residents, businesses, universities and tourists whether the city needs more public places to go.

The surveys, which each take about 10 minutes, can be found on the Cambridge Public Health Department’s website here, and are available through Friday, Oct. 18.

Three separate surveys are designed to get feedback from businesses and organizations, health and human services providers, and the community of residents, tourists, and anyone who works or goes to school in the city, regarding public toilet issues in Cambridge.

A survey asks Cambridge businesses several questions, including whether a lack of public restrooms has had an impact on their business. A separate survey asks community members eight questions, including where people experience the greatest need for public toilets and whether they have experienced any problems accessing a public toilet.

The surveys come as the city is considering the purchase and installation of one or more free-standing permanent public toilets, such as the Portland Loo, in the busiest commercial squares and expanding the number of public toilets in parks and playgrounds, according to the health department.

A coalition of churches, businesses and non-profit groups called the Cambridge Advocates for a Common Toilet is already calling for a public toilet in the area of Harvard Square and the Cambridge Common.

A working group established by the city to discuss public toilet issues is expected to complete a formal report to the city manager this fall that will offer recommendations for expanding public toilet access in Cambridge, according to the health department.

--brock.globe@gmail.com

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