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12 mobile public washrooms to be set up around Edmonton for summer; LRT facilities to reopen

The City of Edmonton is setting up 12 mobile washrooms to be used through summer 2022. City of Edmonton

The City of Edmonton said Monday it was making moves to improve access to public washrooms through summer 2022.

Starting this week, 12 mobile washroom facilities will be set up around the city in areas that will be frequented by Edmontonians through the season.

“These new washroom trailers will be around high-traffic areas, including parks, business districts, and areas hosting outdoor events,” said Nicole Fraser, the general supervisor of planning and monitoring with the city’s Infrastructure Operations department.

All 12 mobile washrooms will be set up by the end of May and will be open from 10 a.m. until 9 p.m. until the end of October.

“During special events, such as the hockey playoffs, the mobile washrooms located downtown will be open extended hours,” Fraser said.  “These washrooms will be staffed with attendants who will oversee their use and maintenance to ensure positive user experience.”

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Permanent public washrooms at Churchill Square and on Whyte Avenue will also open for the same longer hours through playoffs; until 11 p.m. on weekdays and 1 a.m. on weekends.

Read more: City of Edmonton taking another look at public washrooms

The city said there are six locations that have been finalized: Alberta Avenue Community League, Lauderdale Offleash Park, Warehouse Park site, Kinistinaw Park, outside Boyle Street Community Services, and Jasper Place Transit Station. Six other locations are still being decided on.

LRT washroom changes

City officials said Monday that as part of the effort to increase public washroom access, LRT station bathrooms would begin a phased reopening approach. They had been temporarily closed by the city in an effort to prevent drug overdoses in those spaces.

Ten of the city’s 18 LRT washrooms will be reopened on Monday: Northgate, South Campus, Kingsway, Castle Downs, Meadows, Lewis Farms, Heritage Valley, Clareview, Southgate and Central.

“By taking a phased approach to reopening the washrooms, it provides us an opportunity to test new measures and refine them as we go,” said Trevor Dennehy, director of LRT Operations and Maintenance.

Some of the new measures in the 10 reopened washrooms will be hourly checks from security guards trained in naloxone use, an extended cleaning program, instructions inside on how to prevent and treat overdoses, and a sharps disposal container. There will also be a washroom attendant based at Central station.

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Read more: Troubled Transit: State of Edmonton’s LRT system frustrates, shocks riders

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Troubled Transit: Edmonton’s LRT system frustrates and shocks riders – Apr 27, 2022

“Right now, it’s all about collecting the data and then analyzing it after,” Dennehy said. “So we want to measure: What’s our vandalism rate? What are we experiencing for drug overdoses and drug poisonings?

“Once we have all that data, we can then decide on next steps: Can we open more washrooms? Do we need more safety features in place? And kind of go from there.”

The additional washrooms are part of the city’s Public Washroom Strategy, which is to improve access and experiences to public facilities in the city. The eventual goal is to open more permanent public bathrooms around Edmonton. 

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