Orlando considers bathroom trailers to deal with lack of public restrooms

There’s a new plan to bring upscale porta-potties to downtown Orlando. The elevated portable bathrooms would stay open during the nightlife hours here downtown. The city hopes it will relieve them of figuring out where it will relieve themselves. Some people also hope it would nix some of the interesting smells that waft through downtown.

Sometimes when you got to go, you really got to go.

“People do get arrested for going to the bathroom on the side of the road. There’s all these very interesting smells a lot of the time,” said Kelly Cordell, who lives in Winter Park.

“The folks wind up kicking the doors to the people that in there that they won’t come out quick enough etcetera, etcetera.”

In downtown Orlando, there aren’t a lot of places to use the restroom.

“They won’t let me use the bathroom unless I plan to buy something,” said Cordell.

The city has a new solution. These partially permanent, posh porta-potties are bathroom trailers with running water and sinks.

“These are not your standard, run-of-the-mill porta-potty by any means,” said Downtown Development Board Assistant Director David Barilla.

They would be open for everyone, including the party crowd and the homeless with a bathroom attendant whenever they’re open. The hours are daily from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. with late-night hours from 11 p.m. to 3 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. The city is looking to install them near Pine Street and Court Avenue and the Jefferson Street Garage to start. More would be added after six months.

Bar owners are on board. “Every facility down here is getting bombarded on a daily basis with people. That’s fine when it’s two or three but when it’s to the extent of 50 to 60 on a daily basis, it gets to be a little much,” said Embassy Irish Bar owner Roger Wall.

Some think it’s a huge win for the homeless, but for everyone else?

“Just a need for general drunk people and party goers, nah I don’t see the need for that,” said Ryan Fagan, who lives in Windemere.

Others argue it’s better than the current options. “At all the bars, the lines are so long and people wait forever.” Some things just can’t wait.

If this proceeds through the various boards, the city council would vote on it December 9 and the bathrooms would be installed on December 16.