• Carried out feasibility study to identify lessons learned/best practices from other cities in the US and elswhere that have been successful in installing and maintaining clean, safe public restrooms available to everyone 24/7
  • Conducted annual inventories of 85 private facilities in 5 areas of DC with high levels of pedestrian traffic to identify those willing to admit individuals who aren’t patrons. In 2015, 50% (43 out of 85) permitted access to non-patrons. This dropped to 33% (28) in 2016 and 13% (11) in 2017.
  • Did comprehensive search to identify public facilities off the Mall with restrooms open to the public. As of May 2018, there were five open during the day with limited hours and no signs; and two open 24/7 again with no signs.
  • Reviewed the experience of four Boroughs in England that have implemented the Community Toilet scheme and prepared a report with insights have can be helpful when the DC government pilots incentives to businesses to open their restrooms to the public.
  • Sent questionnaire to 28 cities in the US and Canada that have installed Portland Loo in order to learn from their experiences.  Full report and summary provide key findings and take aways for Washington DC should it decide to install one or more Portland Loos.

Served as inspiration for Bill 22-0223, Public Restroom Facilities Installation and Promotion Act of 2018 passed by the DC Council in December, 2018 

  • Bill 22-0223, introduced in April 2017, directs DC government agencies to (1) identify 2 sites in the District that are suitable for installing clean, save public restrooms available 24/7; (2) establish a program to provide incentives to private facilities to open their restrooms to the public.
  • Hearing held on Bill 22-0223 on January 10, 2017 with 13 individuals testifying from various perspectives on why clean, safe public restrooms are needed.
  • Bill 22-0223 was marked up by the Committee on Transportation & Environment and the Committee on Health, then passed to the DC Council of the Whole where it was passed by two consecutive unanimous votes on December 4 and 18,2018.

Recent Testimonies at DC City Council Hearings  

Support for Bill 22-0223:

  • Endorsements obtained from 34 organizations for clean, safe public restrooms and for Bill 22-0223. This includes resolutions from 13 ANCs in Wards 1,2, 3,5, and 8.
  • Three BIDS (Downtown DC, Georgetown, Capitol Hill) support the need for clean, safe public restrooms in needed areas of DC.
  • Two thousands signatures to two petitions supporting clean, safe public restrooms for needed areas of the District

Preparation/distribution of palm cards and posters with information on public restrooms in and near downtown DC

  • Over 3,000 four-panel palm cards – front, back  (size of a business card) plus 11″ x 17″ posters distributed with information, by area of DC, on restrooms open to the public: location, hours or operations, whether bags can be brought in.

DC Council Members/staffers briefed on the need for public restrooms and Bill 22-0223.

  • Briefings provided to Council Members Nadeau, Silverman, Grosso, Robert White, McDuffie, Allen, Cheh

Briefings provided for other key agencies/associations

  • DC Department of General Services (DGS),
  • American Association of Retired People (AARP)
  • Hotel Association of Washington DC
  • Think Local First
  • Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington
  • BID Council

Bill 22-0223 becomes Law and first year funding is made available

  • Bill 22-0223, Public Restroom Facilities Installation & Promotion Act of 2018, became Law 22-280 on April 11,2019.
  • On May 28, 2019 the DC Council passed its FY 2020 budget. Included in the budget is $400,000 for first year funding for the two public restroom pilots, with provisions for recurrent funding through FY 2024.
  • Law 22-280 went into effect on October 1, 2019.
  • January 2020: Office of the City Administrator assigned by the Mayor to oversee the implementation of Law 22-280.

Media appearances: