MINNEAPOLIS (October 16, 2019) — The Mpls Downtown Improvement District in collaboration with the City of Minneapolis launched a new program today improving access to restrooms available for public use throughout downtown.
The initiative, named the 100 Restrooms Project, will implement wayfinding signage pointing the public toward the closest available restroom, new portable restrooms in locations where there are gaps in restroom availability, and an opt-in program for private businesses to offer public use of their private facilities.
Businesses interested in learning more about the opt-in program can visit www.mplsdid.com/100restrooms or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
“We know both from conversations with residents, workers and visitors as well as data from our annual Mpls DID Perception Survey that access to high-quality restrooms downtown is a universal concern,” said Steve Cramer, President & CEO of the Mpls Downtown Improvement District. “This initiative will raise awareness that we’re not starting at Square 1 and will provide wayfinding for the public to more effectively find currently available restroom options while also opening up the conversation for the private business community to join in this effort.”
Wayfinding signage will be visible along main corridors of downtown, including 1st Avenue, Hennepin Avenue, Nicollet, 5th Street and 7th Street. These sidewalk signs will point toward the nearest restrooms and estimated walking time to those locations. Examples of the sidewalk wayfinding signage can be found at the intersections of 7th Street and Nicollet and 9th Street and Hennepin Avenue.
Most public restrooms downtown are in public buildings. These are supplemented by new portable restrooms now accessible at three downtown locations: 9th Street S and Hawthorne Avenue, 7th Street S. and 2nd Avenue N., and 10th Street and 4th Avenue S. These are in addition to the custom three-season restroom that was installed at Peavey Plaza this summer as well as the facilities located at The Commons.
A total of 29 public restrooms downtown are currently open during varying hours. Through this program, the goal is to reach 100 locations through partnerships with additional buildings and businesses, and to work toward established best practices in staffing and maintaining these facilities throughout downtown.
“The 100 Restrooms Project is really about our community meeting our own basic human needs,” said John Sweeney, Owner of the Brave New Workshop. “The portable restroom on our block and signage on surrounding blocks letting people know it’s there are small investments, but they’re a big step towards making the public realm in our neighborhood clean and welcoming.”
Each year, the DID’s Perception Survey collects data to help inform real and perceived greening, cleaning and safety aspects of downtown. Public urination has been part of the top cleanliness concerns on five of the past six surveys collected.
The Mpls DID launched a pilot project called Little Free Lavatory in 2015 to test a free, portable restroom open to the public. That restroom stood along the south edge of Peavey Plaza, where the current three-season public restroom currently sits.
In June 2019, the DID in partnership with the City of Minneapolis engaged a team of Humphrey Fellows from the University of Minnesota Humphrey School of Public Affairs to provide an assessment and case study of other cities’ public restroom strategies to inform the 100 Restrooms Project. The study looked at Denver, Toronto, Washington, D.C. and London, England.
For more information, visit www.mplsdid.com/100restrooms or log onto Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and follow @MplsDID.
About the Mpls Downtown Improvement District:
The Mpls Downtown Improvement District (DID) is a business funded non-profit focused on creating a more vibrant downtown. DID leads and collaborates on programs that make downtown safer, cleaner and greener. We convene people across sectors and jurisdictions to work on issues of mutual interest; develop innovative solutions to complex public space challenges/opportunities including strategic activation and seek continuous improvement of ongoing programs including the ambassadors. For more information, visit www.mplsdid.com.