Apr 1, 2024 - News

Philadelphia's next public bathroom will soon open in City Park

The Portland Loo, also known as the Philly Phlush

The Philly Phlush in Center City. Photo: Mike D'Onofrio/Axios

Philly's third public bathroom is on track to open in the coming months.

Why it matters: Access to public bathrooms in Philly lags behind U.S. and international cities, per a 2021 report from the Public Toilet Index.

State of play: The city is expected to begin installing the next Philly Phlush before July 1 in West Philly's Clark Park, city spokesperson Sharon Gallagher tells Axios.

  • The Portland Loo design, similar to Philly's two other public bathrooms, will be located in the park near the corner of South 43rd Street and Regent Square.

What they're saying: "The public bathroom is one of the most requested amenities at the park," Ben Sirolly, president of the Friends of Clark Park, tells Axios.

Flashback: The city originally planned to install a Philly Phlush there by late last year.

  • But delays pushed that timeline back, Gallagher says.

The big picture: The Portland Loo is used in several cities but has had mixed success. Some have been removed due to maintenance issues and crime.

Zoom out: Philly premiered the first two Philly Phlush potties last year as part of a pilot program — in Center City and in North Philly.

  • The existing bathrooms include overdose-reversing nasal spray naloxone, a baby changing table, toilet seat covers and free menstrual products.

Zoom in: The public bathroom in Clark Park is part of a new so-called master plan for the public space that includes new water misting poles, playgrounds and outdoor exercise equipment.

Reality check: While the city originally planned to fund and install six public bathrooms, Gallagher says the total number will depend on installation and fabrication costs.

What's next: Mayor Cherelle Parker's administration will start engaging with the next neighborhood to receive a public bathroom later this year, but Gallagher declined to disclose where that will be.

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