LETTER: What happens when Bancroft 'super bathroom' gets trashed?Feb. 13, 2018
Regarding the proposed super-bathroom for Bancroft Park, there's an old saying that comes to mind. It begins, "You can lead a horse to water..."
Why that saying? Well, I had a dim memory of a problem with the bathrooms there some time back. Luckily for my hazy recollection, this is the Information Age! A search of the Westside Pioneer's archives turned up the following August 2014 story at this link under the headline, "Vagrants fouling History Center entrance; help requested to fund preventive work."
The part of the story that had spurred my memory was this line: “While it's true that the permanent bathrooms in Bancroft Park across the street are only open when events are scheduled there, it does have a porta-john open 24/7.”
So, even though there was a bathroom available, someone was passing it by.
This is one potential difficulty even the most sophisticated bathroom technology can't solve. And what about the kind of misuse that has kept the bathroom at Vermijo Park padlocked? Or people simply trashing the place?
If someone damaged the proposed super-bathroom in a way its systems couldn't cope with, my guess is the repair job would be protracted and expensive. And then, upon further review, the super-bathroom would be declared a waste of money, and demolished.
This brings to mind another old saying. This one begins, "An ounce of prevention..." Maybe porta-johns would be a more practical alternative.
Editor's note: The letter references the formerly “permanent" restrooms that were downstairs in the Bancroft Park bandshell. They were closed by the city after the bandshell fire in January 2017. But the porta-johns remain.