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CTA Considers Making Pee Smell Official

By Louis in News on May 16, 2007 11:40PM

While we won't get into Chicago's homeless situation, we have to believe the city's vagrants are 97% responsible for the tantalizing aroma of urine that permeates our street corners and mass transit system (the other 3% is made up of drunk bar patrons). While we try to look away, we can't help but be smacked in the face by that indefinable musky pungency that carries in the cool morning air.

Since apparently everyone is doing it already, the city is looking into making official the privilege that our vagabonds have been enjoying for years. Restrooms in CTA stations. While they do exist in most stops for disabled customers, they are not open to the general public except for at the Brown Line, Merchandise Mart stop and the Purple Line, Evanston stop.

As some travel times on CTA trains alone reach the 2 hour mark, restrooms become a necessity for the more frequent goers (pharmaceutical companies will suggest you have a "going" problem). However, until now you would have to get off and leave the station, or take matters into your own hands in a dimly lit corner.

Other cities have attempted public toilets in train stations, but high costs and extra maintenance are a problem. MARTA (Atlanta) and BART (San Francisco) offer toilets at most of their stations, but Metrorail in D.C. attempted a pilot program which it abandoned because of too many problems. Most public toilets in other cities cost around $0.20 and have a 20 minute timer to cut down on drugs, prostitution, and using them as a $0.20 hotel room (at the end of the 20 minutes, the door unlocks, uh oh).

New CTA president, Ron Huberman
, said that the restroom policy will be reviewed once possible state funding has been approved.

Image via Wikipedia, which taught us that public toilets in Finland use blue lighting to make it harder for drug users to find a vein. Trippy.