No skipping to the loo at new Park and Ride
The lack of public toilets at the new Park and Ride caused a stink on council on Monday.
But then, like a breath of fresh air, Councillor Kim Richter suggested that the Township strongly urge TransLink to install a Portland Loo — or two — on the 9.11 acre site in the 20200 block of 86 Avenue.
A Portland loo is a portable toilet, the wall panels, doors and roof all made of heavy gauge steel with vandal-proof bolts and screws. The toilet fixture itself is like those in prisons — designed to withstand destruction. Even the toilet roll dispenser is durable and vandal-proof.
The hand-washing station is on the exterior, to deter illicit activity, and the lighting is solar powered.
Council members expressed surprise that the park and ride, which will have space for 666 vehicles, including for kiss-and-ride and disabled drivers, but no washrooms.
Washrooms are not desirable because of things that happen in washrooms in public places, Mayor Jack Froese commented.
The lack of public toilets in TransLink’s plans was raised by Chris Schneider during discussion on development permit hearing for the buildings on the park and ride site.
The sheer size of the development overshadows the residential Carvolth community, he said, adding that TransLink has treated residents “as though we don’t exist.”
The park and ride is located “in the middle of nowhere” and, Schneider asked, “should there not be public washrooms on the site.”
To the laughter of the gallery, Councillor David Davis said that if there are to be no toilets, the park and ride surface had better be permeable.
Peggy Gibbs of TransLink told the hearing that the transportation authority’s policy is to not have public washrooms at its facilities, with the exception of the West Coast Express and Seabus stations.
However, staff washrooms are available.
Richter also said that TransLink should be encouraged to pave the facility with a permeable surface to help re-charge the aquifer and keep toxins out of water courses.
Councillor Steve Ferguson agreed, remarking that “it’s an opportunity to be responsible. I don’t think that this is unreasonable.”
At Councillor Charlie Fox’s suggestion, the Township will also pressure TransLink to install electrical plug-ins for electric cars.
“We will need 12 to 16, with possible expansion up to 50,” Fox said. “There is no use retrofitting it.”
The development permit was issued, and the majority of council supported sending TransLink a strong message for the permeable surface, toilets and electric plug-ins.