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Gotta go? Downtown is getting public restrooms

Gotta go? Downtown is getting public restrooms

Sarah Sole

Thanks to a project approval from Columbus City Council, taking care of business downtown could become a bit easier.

The city is looking in the general vicinity of the High Street corridor to identify locations for five possible restrooms, said Cynthia Rickman, spokesperson for the Department of Development. The restrooms would be the first public ones in the downtown area. The construction needs to be complete by September 2022.

“The restrooms may be open 24/7, 365 days a week, and will be decided on a case by case basis, but given the high need to mitigate health hazards in our community and COVID 19, we anticipate as many hours open as possible,” Rickman said.

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The project is funded via an $875,000 Community Development Block Grant that’s allocated from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development through the Federal CARES ACT to the city of Columbus. The funding has to prevent, prepare for, and respond to the spread of COVID-19, Rickman said.

The city has been advocating for public restrooms because of tourists, downtown workers and visitors, and the unsheltered population, Rickman said.

Restroom locations will be chosen based on factors including utility availability, sidewalk clearance, walkability, lighting, and historic preservation review, she said. They could go in locations such as Broad and High streets and Long and High streets. The city will meet with the downtown community and property owners to determine final locations.

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