Portland Downtown Unveils Downtown Restroom Master Plan

Plan to guide placement, design & management of future public restrooms downtown

Portland, MEPortland Downtown, a nonprofit organization committed to fostering a thriving, vibrant and sustainable downtown environment, proudly announces the completion and availability of the Public Restroom Master Plan for Portland’s Downtown District. This comprehensive initiative marks a significant milestone in its ongoing efforts to enhance public restroom accessibility in the Old Port, Arts and Government districts of downtown Portland, Maine.

This report was developed in coordination with Cruise Maine and Visit Portland, and was guided by input from esteemed author Lezlie Lowe, as well as community feedback gathered at a public forum in early 2021. This report serves as a holistic guide to the placement, design and management of future public restrooms in downtown Portland, Maine.

Key recommendations include, but are not limited to:

  • Act Now: Highlighting the urgency of addressing the critical shortage of public restrooms in downtown Portland, Maine.
  • Plan for Aggressive Cleaning/Staffing: Recommending future public restroom installations undergo cleaning at least four times daily to uphold cleanliness and safety.
  • Ample Signage: Emphasizing the importance of clear and prominent signage for increased visibility and accessibility.
  • Embrace & Leverage Ties to Walkability: Recognizing the intrinsic connection between walkable communities and accessible restroom facilities.
  • Utilize Technology: Encouraging the use of digital platforms and mobile applications to enhance the overall accessibility and convenience of public restrooms.

Cary Tyson, Executive Director of Portland Downtown, notes the significance of public restrooms as a fundamental aspect of urban livability and overall public health.

“Public restrooms are a part of a welcoming city,” Tyson says. “They are also a key to good public health. No American city has truly ‘conquered’ the issue of providing clean and ample public restrooms. We want Portland to be the first.”

The full master plan and a letter from Portland Downtown Executive Director Cary Tyson available below. 

Click here to view the Public Restroom Master Plan for Portland’s Downtown District