A group of Chicago City Council members has signed a resolution to improve public access to restrooms.
The Chicago Tribune reports that 19 aldermen are supporting Alderman Daniel LaSpata’s proposal after a review by the newspaper last fall found large sections of the city had little or no public access to restrooms.
“What jumps out for most people is that this is related primarily to homelessness, but really it’s for all Chicagoans,” LaSpata told the Tribune. “Anyone who’s out for a run, any parent who’s out with their child … and had an emergency need and felt like they had no options, this is a resolution promoting a solution for you.”
The resolution charges the city council with developing a plan to increase the number of restrooms. More than 20 advocacy groups along with state officials back the idea.
Portable toilets installed at a Jefferson Park “L” station this year during a maintenance project were a hit, said Democratic state Rep. Lindsey LaPointe.
The newspaper’s review found that most barrier-free public bathrooms aren’t open at night or are closed during cold months. The approximately 250 operated by the Chicago Transit Authority aren’t open to non-riders.
Police have issued 29,000 tickets since 2016 to people caught relieving themselves outdoors.