I am writing in support of the proposal reported in the recent article, "Group seeks bathrooms for all in Astoria" (The Astorian, Nov. 19). This cooperative initiative among city and county agencies, local merchants and volunteers is an extremely positive and constructive step.

As the article makes very clear, the proposed public toilet facilities will serve anyone who walks downtown or along the Astoria Riverwalk. That includes not just the homeless, but also tourists and local citizens.

The need to use a bathroom is universal, and the availability of clean, safe, ubiquitous facilities is a fundamental requirement of a civilized society. In fact, some people with particular medical conditions plan their lives outside their homes around the location and availability of publicly-accessible bathrooms.

Better to have them clean, safe and durable than not. Because ongoing maintenance, and occasional replacement, are key to success of this proposal, I trust that the planning process will give due and careful consideration to these aspects of the project.

Kudos to all those involved for stepping up and proposing a sensible, cost-effective solution. It is long overdue but most enthusiastically welcome.

BARRY PLOTKIN

Astoria

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