In May, the City of Edmonton introduced mobile washroom units around the city, including one in Alberta Avenue Community League’s parking lot.
This initiative is part of phase two of the City’s Public Washroom Strategy.
“The goal of offering these new mobile washroom locations is to provide washroom access this spring, summer, and fall to all Edmontonians, when they are out enjoying our city… be that at a concert, festival, or community event,” says Travis Kennedy, the general supervisor of infrastructure operations at the City of Edmonton, in an email statement.
“The mobile washrooms are a temporary solution intended to supplement (and not to replace) available permanent washrooms to take care of expected increased washroom needs during the summer months,” continues Kennedy.
The mobile washrooms are open daily from 10 am to 9 pm, and they will remain open until October 31.
The city chose the locations for the washrooms after consulting with stakeholders like Boyle Street Ventures Inc., Business Improvement Areas, and the Edmonton Federation of Community Leagues.
Factors like average walking distance to public washrooms, the amount of expected outdoor activity in the area, levels of public urination, and the number of people experiencing houselessness in the area were considered in choosing locations for the mobile public washrooms.
The mobile washrooms are staffed by attendants from hiregood to improve safety and overall user experience at the washrooms, says Kennedy. The attendants ensure that washrooms are maintained and deter activities like drug use or arson.
At the Alberta Ave location, there is a wheelchair-accessible porta-potty to the right of the washrooms.
So far, traffic has been light at the Alberta Ave location, says Sadie O’Rourke, who works with hiregood, but the washrooms are available for anyone who’s in the area, whether they’re playing at the park, shopping in the area, or strolling along 118 Avenue.
The City will introduce more permanent public washrooms across Edmonton during phase three of their Public Washroom Strategy, and the mobile public washrooms this summer may help the city choose locations for those permanent washrooms.