Pregnant Woman Sparks Debate About Bathrooms in Portland’s Monument Square
It's unfortunately a problem we've probably all run into at one point or another. You're out and about in Portland, strolling up and down Monument Square either enjoying the weather or window shopping (or actual shopping) when all of a sudden -- it hits.
The urge to go to the bathroom.
And that's also when the problem starts -- because where the hell do you go?
Lack of Public Bathrooms in Monument Square
In a recent post to the Portland, Maine group on Facebook, a woman named Rebecca Johnson vented about a major issue she ran into over the weekend while out and about in Monument Square.
Had to go today at Renys (they used to be open even at beginning of pandemic)…now they’re “out of order”. My “when all else fails option” aka Parking lot by the arena? Out of order. Starbucks? Out of order…you get the idea.
Rebecca went on to mention that she finally convinced "the guy" at HighSociety to allow her to use their bathroom, pointing out the fact that she's 30 weeks pregnant and no other business would allow her to conduct her business.
It apparently took this guy to see the serious look on her face to realize it was in his best interest for a good future to let Rebecca use the bathroom. Props to him for being a solid human -- as if getting tasks done while pregnant probably isn't difficult enough.
The Portland Public Bathroom Debate was Sparked
Naturally, the floodgates opened with Rebecca's post, most of which shared their own similar stories to Rebecca's of being caught in similar situations, with some revealing they choose to say home because of the lack of bathrooms, and others actually mentioning they were taught the reason for the lack of bathrooms in while school.
"Seriously it's a major accessibility issue and is exactly why I rarely leave home (I have a bladder about the size of a thimble.)" - Alex Smith
"It’s so terrible and makes enjoying downtown so hard. Not to mention the endless complaints about feces and urine on the street, like where else are people supposed to go????" - Bree Casson
"Back in college I was told in my criminology class that the City of Portland removed public bathrooms as part of a “war on homelessness” I dunno if that is true." - Jennifer Rose
"I have Crohn's disease and it is so stressful when I go downtown." - Carol Bair
Portland Public Bathroom Locations
Thankfully, along with similar complaints and situations as Rebecca in the comments section, there were also some helpful Mainers dropping knowledge on where there actually are public restrooms to take advantage of in Monument Square (and the rest of Portland.)
To see the full map of public access bathrooms throughout Portland, check out the map on the City of Portland website.