Lets recount some actual experiences and comments heard at Venice Beach - our favorite outdoor visiting spot on a beautiful day....but things are not so beautiful there....see:
Rose Parking Lot bathrooms:
1. doors are locked with NO notice if they are "out of order" or if someone is inside, living there or using facilities... so some people stand outside anxiously waiting for the door to open and check if it is locked by pulling handle and knock and nothing.
2. People stand in one line, go to another, waiting because they NEED to use a bathroom and cannot stand around waiting long and uselessly. In anger and in incredulity they ask each other :
"what is wrong ?
do they work?
Which is open ? is anyone in there ? " etc
Finally one opens, and everyone moves over to that line.
3. At 9 am Monday there were 2 people standing in 5 lines and becoming angry and disgusted and probably none will write or make a call,...they've learned to be Obedient 'good citizens' and become accustomed to their City of LA not responding to them, or their also fearing repercussions if they make their names known.
We know because someone asked them to please call and in response was only given various nods and verbal hesitations- their not willing to "do anything" and maybe be identified, or retaliated on. the usual fear of being labeled, even a 'terrorist' if not a dissident or complainer...whatever...
Bathrooms at Breeze near Brooks drum circle=
1. The lines here were 15 people each on both -2 sides, waiting anxiously. One person we know has a "prostate problem" and went to some side street unable to wait and unable to cut in line when necessity called him, and he is ashamed of having the urgency his body does, but must...
2. Others complain or wait looking around at why there is no one in sight to open the 'locked without any notice or which are 'out of order' and which toilets are merely occupied.
Some wait w/o trying the doors [on North side large handicapped bathroom has a big heavy padlock & rusty chains appearing to be 'locked from outside' but actually was used and many looking at door were not aware anyone could enter there. Finally when someone exited there....
surprise was expressed and immediately someone cut in front of others to enter there ......others only got angrier then....]
3. a drummer asked someone to watch his drums, said "I'll hurry be right back" and went to these bathrooms.... because he came back 30 minutes later, because he had to wait in line, waiting politely, and had not imagined the long desperate line and watchfulness of each one watching to not allow anyone to cut in front of them, of course.
He came back angry, complaining and apologizing We understood. We had seen the line earlier.
4. It was an all-day-line, never becoming shorter because as day progressed more people came to Boardwalk. Strangers and many in groups of 4, people of all kinds, races, sizes, swaggers, attitudes, and they all needed to use the bathrooms at least once that day, as they dont come for just a 1 hr visit. Children included, who need to use toilet unexpectedly too.
5. We did not go further towards Venice Blvd. to see more bathrooms. Who Would not want to see more of the same long distressed people waiting to use facilities that are dirty, [now most stalls have toilet paper more often ] ,
some dont flush at all,
floor is wet and sometimes smelly,
and then there is the sheep-like-line-waiting-behaviors where people Have To Wait or ?????? [yes, sometimes that too happens ! ]
[shame on them or the City of LA? ]
Even assuming there is a shortage of city funds, it is still highly UNHYGIENIC and very UNHEALTHY to have so few facilities, with no one there to help the long-line-wait situation, with no signs stating which toilets are 'out of order' or just being used for a longer-than-usual-time, and there being nothing clean and decent about any of the bathroom sites.
There must be some city discretionary funds, some staff that can be temporary transferred even if during weekends/holidays only, or even some place people can go for their bodily needs around Venice Boardwalk....
because the few restaurants available are so pricey for ordinary folks and families, and do not permit others to enter their premises..
The police or city workers that stroll by have their own facilities, surely. The many many thousands we saw walk the boardwalk had very few options...and the many food-vending-on- walk sites have no facilities for their customers,
while many homeless are using the sand/ grass/ speedway alley - when unobserved - for their dire or unexpected needs,
and most people arrive totally unaware of the body-excretion problems they will encounter when arriving on Venice Boardwalk. Yes, World famous Venice ?
Famous and known but not accommodating their visitors Needs, not just their buying desires, not their living in their LA taxed city, but their bodily, even urgent Needs.
Can anyone do something to help this situation ?
LA City Council, then someone You Know may have influence over other agencies.
Or must some terrible event happen before it gets media attention and then an improvement may occur ?
And the Venice Neighborhood Council can also assist in finding, pursuing and authorizing some funds or some non-profit local agency to assist too or can the VNC produce some volunteers for assistance to some other local bathroom areas too ?
The problem is not new or improving either.
But it is clear and noticeable that it is deteriorating and that summer is just starting... with more visitors coming... and then going...where ?
Who cares ? cares enough for our LA citizens and visitors to help solve this ignored problem that continues the same dysfunctional way for years now ?
Who will call or write their City representatives? and let them know the SHAME we have - still now - at one of our most known and visited ‘tourist sites' - one that makes all of LA and those living here look-bad-an-dirty-and-disgusting -even ...because everyone is ‘too busy’ to do anything at all ?
just where do They “go” ? Where do you go ?
Venice is in Dist 11 of LA City Council. You can contact them here: http://cd11.lacity.org/Contact/Email/index.htm
is Venice Neighborhood Council's address for your communicating there too.
or where do YOU go ?