Downtown Grand Junction’s Frightening Public Toilets

Grand Junction's Public Toilets

Downtown Grand Junction’s dismal public toilets at the Farmers Market: ICK!

Have you avoided the public restrooms in downtown Grand Junction because you fear what they might be like?

Well, your fears are justified.

A visit to the public restroom in downtown July 30 revealed a bad scene. The lights at the back of the room weren’t working, and the toilet stalls were dark and scary. They were also dirty. One stall closer to the front of the room was slightly better lit and a little cleaner, but try to use it and you’ll find it doesn’t have a door. The roomier, handicap-accessible stall at the back of the room had a door that worked, but it was also dirty. The worst part of the whole experience is that the toilets are positively prison-like: cold stainless steel without seats on them! They’re a lot like Model #1675 on this website that sells stainless steel security plumbing fixtures under the header of “penal ware.” The item description for Model #1675 says “Institutional Applications: Correctional.” That’s it. There is no second institutional application for this toilet. It doesn’t, for example, also say “Ladies’ Public Restrooms.” THIS IS A PRISON TOILET, period. My guess is that a man chose these toilets for the downtown women’s restroom. No female would ever subject other females to these things.

If you need to use the public restrooms downtown, ladies, “steel” yourself for the punishing experience of being treated like a common criminal. The only problem is the poor tourists who stop to experience a day in downtown won’t have that luxury.

  5 comments for “Downtown Grand Junction’s Frightening Public Toilets

  1. Come on now Anne, do you really expect all the homeless people to clean up after themselves, or are the taxpayers supposed to supply the money to hire someone to patrol and clean the facilities. If so, to what extent will they be required to clean up? Would it just be the facilities or the rear ends of the users also?

    You really can’t deny those poor souls a place to relieve themselves can you, especially after the library closes and they haven’t headed out to their camps yet. But hey, they might be re directed to the new facilities down the street at our beautiful new park. The crowd at the pub would likely object to that one though.

    • Shoot, they don’t need a PRISON grade toilet. There’s a way to be more humane and still have a durable restroom.

  2. I’d much rather use a porta-potty. They are more comfortable and, to preserve their business, the porta-potty company at least has a stake in keeping it half-way pleasant, and a porta-potty doesn’t have that prison-in-your-face connotation. Boulder has very nice public restrooms downtown, and to ward off vandals they play extremely loud, obnoxious music in them — just below the pain threshold, actually — so it makes you want to get in an out quickly. Pretty smart, and much more dignified and humane that this.

    • Wow Anne, thanks for the heads up on the downtown public bathroom.

      You said; “ My guess is that a man chose these toilets for the downtown women’s restroom”. Was that an anecdotal observation or were you being gender specific judgmental?

      I’m sure that you’re aware of the SB200 law (The Bathroom Bill), which prohibits gender specific toilet facilities. So it’s entirely possible and appropriate that it could have been designed by either sex based on high traffic and ease of maintenance. I’m sure that was the prime directive from the designer and builder point of view of both the facility and the law.

      Of course, I agree with you from the user’s point of view. Adequate lighting, cleanliness and security (lockable doors on stalls) are a big plus, which would make the facility actually useful for the purpose for which it was intended.

      And there is of course the possibility of a much more intense experience that would come if a large, hairy male (or female) wearing an overcoat, slacks held up by rubber bands and obviously nothing else should decide to check out the occupied stall. But all of that falls under the heading of unintended consequences. And it’s all perfectly legal.

      What else would you expect from any government agency? You do recall that a camel is just a horse designed by a government committee, don’t you?? Besides, it has long been the role of government and engineers to build something no one could use. And they’ve become very adapt at it. And they have built a career in that field which will continue just as long as other people’s money holds out. That should be no surprise to you.

  3. The fact that the toilet is still functioning and intact after so many years is testament to the practicality of having a fixture that is practically indestructible. Perhaps not ideal but better than replacing broken seats on a regular basis. Public restrooms are notoriously difficult facilities to maintain because there always seems to be plenty of vandals and opportunities to vandalize. They are difficult to keep an eye on to say the least and the location of this one makes it particularly difficult. I would think that during downtown festivities there would be an effort to keep it clean and well lit. Face it, it beats using a port-a-potty any day.

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