The Newest Place To Go Downtown

THE NEWEST PLACE TO GO DOWNTOWN Public Restroom, Tranquillity Park, Rusk and Smith Streets, Downtown HoustonA reader writes: “Until this morning I had never noticed this public restroom (really just a port-o-john with a thoughtfully labeled enclosure around it) downtown next to Tranquility Park at the corner of Rusk and Smith. Everybody knows that Swamplot is Houston’s most trusted source for breaking news about the city’s top cat 5 dump hotspots, so I figured I’d send y’all this update. I definitely feel sorry for whoever has to maintain this facility, but if the city has decided to provide a refuge for the park’s inhabitants in an attempt to discourage the use of secluded downtown doorways or parking garage stairwells, then I think it’s a great idea.” Photo: Swamplot inbox

19 Comment

  • Cool. There are lots of these around london. Random stairs that go to an underground restroom.

  • I believe this is a Houston Downtown Management District program. It’s in their agenda for 2014. It’s on page 11 of their December 2013 agenda packet as part of their goals (Goal #1, in making sure that “Downtown feels comfortable and safe at all times”).

    It’s also not the first. There’s one at 1121 Walker as well, just east of Fannin.

    There’s certainly a need for restrooms for the homeless population that gathers at many of the places downtown. It’s certainly a needed service, especially around Tranquillity Park. Some may not view a port-a-john as the most tactful approach though. It’s probably better than nothing.

  • It’s probably the required port-o-john for the METRO construction workers working on the light rail line, although if it keeps the homeless people from relieving themselves in the garage stairwells, that’s fine by me – let’s keep it.

  • Really Swamplot? This is worthy of segment on your site? Why would you give that person who always is commenting on their disgusting bowel movements (talk about the need for moderation) a platform. This is neither funny nor witty, it actually just kinda pathetic that you stooped this low for a story. Talk about disappointing, I don’t read Swampot for stories like this, not even Tmz stoops this low.

  • When did Jerry the Pizzz start getting whole articles?

  • How come City of Houston has not outlawed vagrancy? There are numerous federal, state and local programs that help homeless, there are numerous churches, and yet they choose to defecate on the street and harass passers by. I would support jailing them if hey refuse all the available help like the rest of the civilized world. Yes I know there’s cost associated with it but a couple more thousand added to the prison population of millions won’t be noticed.

  • Mind: blown.

  • Brussels is so bad ass that the city provides public urinals on the walls of churches (St.Catherine church specifically). Basically, in Brussels you piss on the churches.

    Here’s Google Street View of the nice little urinal.,4.3480378,3a,80.4y,129.31h,74.53t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1sBxyYdLLXrKJBCd8_JJiq2g!2e0

  • @Cody The restroom is the blue port-a-potty. The stairs don’t lead to a underground restroom.

  • @Cody, you are confused, in this case, the stairs were the restroom for the bums….

  • I have had the most unfortunate need to use that stairwell on occasion, and it always reeks of urine. Perhaps that is the curative reason for this rest stop. It can’t hurt.

  • Free luxury self-cleaning toilets in Paris (France not Texas) called sanisettes:
    This is what we need!

  • Texmex01/Tina: okay, thanks. Corrected.

  • There’s a public restroom in downtown Ft. Collins I saw last month. Was very simply designed and maintained but served the purpose.

  • “I don’t read Swampot for stories like this, not even Tmz stoops this low.”
    Yet Shannon takes time to comment about them.

  • Hey! We have those all over here in Baltimore, but they are usually locked.

  • The city’s most “gritty/urban” alley, as measured by number of music videos and cosplay photo shoots in all of downtown, is on the 900 block of Franklin, across from the Da’wah Center. And yet, in spite of its high traffic and visibility, still finds service as a toilet. The alley literally asks the question: which is worse, the music of today or sh*t?

  • @commonsense – indeed, if we just outlaw vagrancy, all those homeless people will decide to go have homes!

  • @John (another one), I know you jest but YES, in essence that’s what would happen. There are number of examples all over the world where vagrancy has been outlawed and nobody died, nobody was forced to live in the rural woods… people were forced into acceptable shelters, social norms changed where families started to take more responsibility for their fringe family members, etc.

    Related to this is many examples where broke continent of Europe had to cut down on lavish social programs and free benefits and a miracle happenned…. people found jobs, people made up with their family members and moved in together, they started taking responsibility for their own lives, etc.

    If you take the vagrancy CHOICE out of the equation, other more acceptable choices will fill the void.