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Seattle’s Automated Toilets Go Way of the Box and Chain ( $89,000 apiece on eBay )
The New York Times ^ | July 17, 2008 | CHRISTOPHER MAAG

Posted on 07/17/2008 8:41:44 AM PDT by george76

After spending $5 million on its five automated public toilets, Seattle is calling it quits.

In the end, the restrooms, installed in early 2004, had become so filthy, so overrun with drug abusers and prostitutes, that although use was free of charge, even some of the city’s most destitute people refused to step inside them.

The units were put up for sale Wednesday afternoon on eBay, with a starting bid set by the city at $89,000 apiece.

The dismal outcome coincides with plans by New York, Los Angeles and Boston, among other cities, to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars for expansion this fall in their installation of automated toilets — stand-alone structures with metal doors that open at the press of a button and stay closed for up to 20 minutes. The units clean themselves after each use, disinfecting the seats and power-washing the floors.

Seattle officials say the project here failed because the toilets, which are to close on Aug. 1, were placed in neighborhoods that already had many drug users and transients. Then there was the matter of cost: $1 million apiece over five years, which because of a local ordinance had to be borne entirely by taxpayers instead of advertisers.

In Seattle, problems arose almost immediately. Users left so much trash behind that the automated floor scrubbers had to be disabled, and prostitutes and drug users found privacy behind the toilets’ locked doors.

“I’m not going to lie: I used to smoke crack in there,” said one homeless woman... “But I won’t even go inside that thing now. It’s disgusting.”

(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...


TOPICS:
KEYWORDS: dopersrights; drugabuse; govwatch; homelessness; itsjustsex; nannystate; prostitution; publicsex; puritanism; seattle; toilet
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1 posted on 07/17/2008 8:41:46 AM PDT by george76
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To: jazusamo; sionnsar; HardStarboard

want a $89,000 toilet?


2 posted on 07/17/2008 8:42:53 AM PDT by george76 (Ward Churchill : Fake Indian, Fake Scholarship, and Fake Art)
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To: george76

lmao. What the heck did they expect. Dogooders are dumbarses.


3 posted on 07/17/2008 8:43:00 AM PDT by commonguymd (Freedom and individual liberty is for everyone, including the odd and weird people like you.)
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To: george76

“stay closed up to 20 minutes” I hope it doesn’t just open to the world in the middle of a Taco reBellion.


4 posted on 07/17/2008 8:48:17 AM PDT by Celerity
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To: george76

What the hcck is automated about these toilets?


5 posted on 07/17/2008 8:48:28 AM PDT by Piquaboy (22 year veteran of the Army, Air Force and Navy, Pray for all our military .)
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To: george76

What idiot thought these would be a good idea? I at least know it was a Democrat. But then again, that’s like calling water wet. It just goes without saying.


6 posted on 07/17/2008 8:52:25 AM PDT by SengirV
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To: george76

Do like they do in other countries that have public toilets...hire someone to take care of them.


7 posted on 07/17/2008 8:55:29 AM PDT by stuartcr (Election year.....Who we gonna hate, in '08?)
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To: george76

lmbo!You know it’s bad when crack users and prostitutes won’t use the public toilets because of filth!


8 posted on 07/17/2008 9:00:48 AM PDT by Coffee200am ("We should all be living in mud huts and riding bicycles to avoid killing the polar bears..."/s)
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To: george76

9 posted on 07/17/2008 9:05:17 AM PDT by Clint N. Suhks
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To: george76

I think Berkley needs those $89.000 toilets, the tree sitters could come down from their roosts at night to use them and the Code Pinkos protesting the Marines could use them.


10 posted on 07/17/2008 9:05:51 AM PDT by jazusamo (DefendOurMarines.org | DefendOurTroops.org)
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To: george76

When the crack smokers won’t use the toilets......that’s pretty bad.


11 posted on 07/17/2008 9:08:13 AM PDT by wbill
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To: george76
Idiot public servants have one thing in common: they think they are smarter than the common folk and they reinvent bad ideas indefinitely, until you slap them down. And hard. Like fire them and force them to take a job they can handle.

Even a functional moron can waste taxpayer money. Takes no effort whatsoever.

I wonder if any heads will roll over this idiotic idea?

I doubt it.

12 posted on 07/17/2008 9:08:44 AM PDT by Publius6961 (You're Government, it's not your money, and you never have to show a profit.)
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To: george76
$89,000 is the starting bid -

Purchasing a pre-owned APT can offer significant savings for any company, municipality or other agency considering such facilities, as the cost per unit new is approximately $500,000.

That's right, folks! The City of Seattle paid half a million buckadingdongs for a high-tech, stainless-steel crapper. I guess you could take a Sawzall to it to cut a little moon in the door if you want a mighty fine outhouse. You gotta dig yer own hole, though, and put concrete in there or it won't fit. They say they got most of the graffitti off but I'm not sure I like the look of the eelectric hand towel thingy.

Nasty.

13 posted on 07/17/2008 9:08:56 AM PDT by Billthedrill
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To: george76
"...so overrun with drug abusers and prostitutes, that although use was free of charge, even some of the city’s most destitute people refused to step inside them..."

Hahaha. Seattle. What did they expect?


14 posted on 07/17/2008 9:10:40 AM PDT by Daffynition
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To: george76

I wouldn’t buy these “sin cubicles”. There’s too much nasty history in them. I’m reminded of W.C. Fields saying “I don’t drink water: fish **** in it.”


15 posted on 07/17/2008 9:11:48 AM PDT by MarineBrat (My wife and I took an AIDS vaccination that the Church offers.)
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To: george76
I guess all the homosexual men will now have to find another hot-spot to take their dates.
16 posted on 07/17/2008 9:16:10 AM PDT by TexasCajun
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To: george76
"But given that lesser privacy, it is unclear how popular such a toilet might be, as Mr. Leonard acknowledges.

“We in the U.S. have yet to shed our puritanical roots,” he said. “We are uptight about toilets.”"

"Why, a Frenchman will sit in the middle of the sidewalk doing his business. THAT'S how progressive they are!", says Mr. Leonard as he tries to shame people into accepting his stupid public toilet design.

17 posted on 07/17/2008 9:21:42 AM PDT by james500
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To: george76

If anyone is interested in seeing the eBay auctions:

http://shop.ebay.com/items/?_nkw=wcmatic&_fromfsb=&_trksid=m270


18 posted on 07/17/2008 9:28:17 AM PDT by james500
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To: george76
“I’m not going to lie: I used to smoke crack in there,” said one homeless woman... “But I won’t even go inside that thing now. It’s disgusting."

So far this is my favorite quote of the year.

19 posted on 07/17/2008 9:30:49 AM PDT by floozy22
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To: george76
The Seattle city council was warned this would happen, from other cities that gave them a chance. They would not listen, and who pays? The taxpayers. Whatever these go for on E-bay, the procedes should go back to the tax payers who were sold a bill of goods.
20 posted on 07/17/2008 9:38:46 AM PDT by NavyCanDo
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To: james500
"Why, a Frenchman will sit in the middle of the sidewalk doing his business. THAT'S how progressive they are!", says Mr. Leonard as he tries to shame people into accepting his stupid public toilet design.

if that is PROGRESSIVE, I don't want it!!

21 posted on 07/17/2008 9:43:17 AM PDT by FrustratedGOPmember (Going to war with DEMS is like DEER HUNTING with an accordion.)
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To: Publius6961

“Even a functional moron can waste taxpayer money. Takes no effort whatsoever.”

Ain’t THAT the truth....a la Washington,DC!


22 posted on 07/17/2008 9:47:49 AM PDT by gimme1ibertee (Moonbats...visit my website! www.kissmybutt.com)
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To: Billthedrill
Nasty.

It certainly is.

And our old outhouse has a MUCH more comfortable (& warmer!) seat than that flat, contourless granite counter top with a basin hole cut in it.


23 posted on 07/17/2008 9:48:11 AM PDT by ApplegateRanch (The Great Obamanation of Desolation, attempting to sit in the Oval Office, where he ought not..)
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To: george76

Ummmm, it’s not the toilets, it’s the scum using them. And advertising? What can be aimed at hookers and druggies? Well, that anyone wants to sell?


24 posted on 07/17/2008 9:52:12 AM PDT by GOPJ (Obama - DON'T count your chickens 'til theyÂ’re hatched. Hillary's delegates are still Hillary's?)
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To: george76
Since I was a kid, the public restrooms located in the lower levels of Pike Place Market has always been quite adequate. I don't remember ever seeing a line to get into them, and the location was perfect for the downtown visitors and tourist. The only reason the city purchased these stupid self cleaning toilets, was not for the visitors, but for the homeless drunks, who were using back streets and alleys instead of the public restroom. The real answer here is to drive out the vagrants, most of who are not from here, but came to Seattle knowing it is a bum friendly city.
25 posted on 07/17/2008 9:52:43 AM PDT by NavyCanDo
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To: george76

Maybe Barbara Striesand and Hillary Clinton will be interested. Their gold plated personal mobile pottys maybe due replacement. Those porta-pottys have a lot of mileage on them. They also have endured an overload of crap from those “queens”.


26 posted on 07/17/2008 9:55:53 AM PDT by hdstmf
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To: george76

does it come with the shit and semen stains behind the toilet and on the rails?

this idea is proof theres such a thing as caring too much


27 posted on 07/17/2008 10:07:09 AM PDT by Disciplinemisanthropy (...and that, people, is what grinds my gears.)
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To: Slings and Arrows
“I’m not going to lie: I used to smoke crack in there,” said one homeless woman... “But I won’t even go inside that thing now. It’s disgusting.”

How bad does a bathroom have to be for a homeless crackhead to reject it?

28 posted on 07/17/2008 10:27:00 AM PDT by Grizzled Bear ("Does not play well with others.")
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To: george76

$5 million dollars wasted. Who bears the blame of this, democrats or republicans, need I ask?


29 posted on 07/17/2008 10:37:39 AM PDT by rawhide
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To: Grizzled Bear; MeekOneGOP; Conspiracy Guy; DocRock; King Prout; Darksheare; OSHA; martin_fierro; ...

"Obama as president? Even I couldn't handle that s***!"



30 posted on 07/17/2008 10:42:15 AM PDT by Slings and Arrows (~ ~ FREE LAZAMATAZ! ~ ~ [Shipping and handling charges may apply.])
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To: james500

Apparently the city workers couldn’t be induced to actually clean out the units once in a while?

Did the council seriously think that “self-cleaning” meant “maintenance-free?”


31 posted on 07/17/2008 11:43:20 AM PDT by mvpel (Michael Pelletier)
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To: NavyCanDo

Exactly so. I seem to recall at the time that city officials were talking about how vagrants and drug abusers didn’t have anyplace to go to the toilet - some were having to wait until public buildings opened. And this would take care of it. Worth a million dollars, dontcha think???

Somehow I don’t picture personal hygiene being high on the priority list for drug users, prostitutes and drunks.

And now they say their mistake was to put it in an area that had drug users, prostitutes and drunks. Puh leeze.


32 posted on 07/17/2008 12:23:35 PM PDT by Wicket (God bless and protect our troops and God bless Americaest,)
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To: george76

Clearly a liberal design .......no TP or gunrack !


33 posted on 07/17/2008 12:24:13 PM PDT by Squantos (Be polite. Be professional. But, have a plan to kill everyone you meet)
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To: george76
>>>want a $89,000 toilet?<<<

No thanks. I remodled a bathroom last year for only half of that!!

[/sarcasm]

34 posted on 07/17/2008 12:50:58 PM PDT by HardStarboard (Take No Prisoners - We're Out O)
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To: george76
“I’m not going to lie: I used to smoke crack in there,” said one homeless woman... “But I won’t even go inside that thing now. It’s disgusting.”

Did Expedia.com include this review of the city of Seattle???

NO STARS

35 posted on 07/17/2008 1:21:02 PM PDT by weegee (Obama loves America like Bill loves Hillary.)
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To: MarineBrat

They will probably export them to Europe and Japan for use in exotic sex hotels. The tourists can get a taste of decadent life in America.


36 posted on 07/17/2008 1:23:25 PM PDT by weegee (Obama loves America like Bill loves Hillary.)
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To: Squantos

Sheryl Ol’ Crow probably endorse these things, one sheet of TP and no more, please.


37 posted on 07/17/2008 1:24:10 PM PDT by weegee (Obama loves America like Bill loves Hillary.)
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To: Slings and Arrows

Shouldn’t this thread have had a barf alert?

Maybe they are getting rid of them because the budget was blown and they couldn’t avoid the Islamic wash basins. Better to get rid of them altogether than to risk being on the receiving end of jihad.


38 posted on 07/17/2008 1:25:49 PM PDT by weegee (Obama loves America like Bill loves Hillary.)
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To: george76

For a million dollars each, they could have built a multi-stall facility and staffed it with 24-hour security.


39 posted on 07/17/2008 1:25:51 PM PDT by B Knotts (Calvin Coolidge Republican)
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To: george76
Rather than automated toilets, some cities are looking for cheaper alternatives that would be cleaned by human attendants. One prototype, to be installed next month in Portland, Ore., would cost $50,000 each, compared with some $300,000 for an automated unit.

Randy Leonard, a Portland city commissioner, helped design that toilet, which in addition has open gaps at the top and bottom of the door, a feature discouraging drug abuse, prostitution and the like.

But given that lesser privacy, it is unclear how popular such a toilet might be, as Mr. Leonard acknowledges.

“We in the U.S. have yet to shed our puritanical roots,” he said. “We are uptight about toilets.”

I'm sick of hearing the Left decry our "purtianical roots". Few people crap in the street anywhere in this world.

40 posted on 07/17/2008 1:28:32 PM PDT by weegee (Obama loves America like Bill loves Hillary.)
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To: george76

$89,000,000 toilet here. No takers.

http://cgi.ebay.com/Hering-Bau-WCmatic-Automatic-Public-Toilet-1-Seattle_W0QQitemZ170240609824QQihZ007QQcategoryZ1267QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

Toilets #1-5. No bids.


41 posted on 07/17/2008 1:31:54 PM PDT by weegee (Obama loves America like Bill loves Hillary.)
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To: B Knotts
They should keep them where they are, weld the doors open, and leave them as a monument to the bureaucracy.
42 posted on 07/17/2008 1:33:04 PM PDT by weegee (Obama loves America like Bill loves Hillary.)
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To: ApplegateRanch

That ain’t granite........


43 posted on 07/17/2008 1:33:21 PM PDT by Osage Orange (Hillary's heart is blacker than the devil's riding boots...............)
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To: mvpel; Publius6961; george76; Libertina

This is the quintessence of elitism:

Help others who won’t help themselves, Liberally helping yourselves to the money of the productive to buy self-cleaning units at enormous expense to be SURE you don’t actually have to roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty.

The opposite of true humanitarianism, posing as the real deal.


44 posted on 07/17/2008 1:44:21 PM PDT by The Spirit Of Allegiance (Public Employees: Honor Your Oaths! Defend the Constitution from Enemies--Foreign and Domestic!)
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To: weegee

Fairgrounds and special events around the country get by with porta-potties that have biodegrading chemicals and can’t cost more than a few thousand dollars.

Hey Seattle, check out Thomas Register for some cheaper resources.


45 posted on 07/17/2008 1:47:12 PM PDT by The Spirit Of Allegiance (Public Employees: Honor Your Oaths! Defend the Constitution from Enemies--Foreign and Domestic!)
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To: weegee; potlatch; LucyT

Toilets #1-5. No bids.

Shocked.

/s


46 posted on 07/17/2008 1:50:50 PM PDT by george76 (Ward Churchill : Fake Indian, Fake Scholarship, and Fake Art)
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To: george76

They have photos up of each $89k terlet.

You can make out some of the graffiti. No phone numbers though.


47 posted on 07/17/2008 1:53:07 PM PDT by weegee (Obama loves America like Bill loves Hillary.)
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To: Squantos; SunkenCiv; Grampa Dave

lol

Clearly a liberal design .......no TP or gunrack !


48 posted on 07/17/2008 1:57:50 PM PDT by george76 (Ward Churchill : Fake Indian, Fake Scholarship, and Fake Art)
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To: Osage Orange
Bet it is as cold as granite, though; and for the price, it ought to be granite.
49 posted on 07/17/2008 1:58:56 PM PDT by ApplegateRanch (The Great Obamanation of Desolation, attempting to sit in the Oval Office, where he ought not..)
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To: george76; potlatch; Slings and Arrows; nw_arizona_granny; yefragetuwrabrumuy

This is one of those threads I’m not going to read, but thanks for the pings, anyway, lol.


50 posted on 07/17/2008 2:07:16 PM PDT by LucyT (What happens in Denver won't stay in Denver... August 25 - 28, 2008)
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