Smithfield Street ‘Pittsburgh Potty’ location being removed

PITTSBURGH — The Pittsburgh Potty is a restroom on wheels. Anyone can use it, no questions asked, there are two locations in downtown Pittsburgh, one on Smithfield Street and another at Gateway Center. But after a few short months and some very mixed reviews Smithfield Street location is closed. The alternative is to use the bathroom across the street in the parking garage.

“I try not to use them if I don’t have to, but versus going in a parking garage, I’d rather go in an alley,” said Jessica Gilbert.

Gilbert works downtown and then catches the bus home. She said she tries to avoid using the Pittsburgh potties because they aren’t always clean, but said she wouldn’t even feel safe using the restroom in a parking garage.

“If I’m going into a place, I don’t feel that safe at least right here it’s kind of out in the open if I need help,” she explained.

The mobile restrooms or the Pittsburgh potties arrived downtown last summer, but now the Smithfield location is already closed. The organization that funded the $2-million-dollar project is now offering up public parking garages as an alternative.

“There used to be horse-drawn carriages weddings now there is a nasty potty it’s just eww,” said Lauren Serhon of S.W. Randall Toyes & Gifts.

S.W. Randall Toyes and Gifts sits directly next door to the mobile porta-potty and says people often used it to do and deal drugs and it was left filthy at times.

They said the garage would likely be the same and offered a different alternative.

“Set up actual public restrooms like the pay-as-you-go public restrooms where you put a quarter in and it’s an actual physical building,” Serhon said.

“If they don’t keep options open, they are going to force people to take measures that they wouldn’t normally take,” Gilbert said.

The Smithfield location is closed while the Gateway Center location will remain open until they can find a permanent alternative. The portable potties in downtown Pittsburgh are being removed.

They were put in place over the summer to help curb public urination.

People are now urged to use a public bathroom at the Smithfield-Liberty parking garage.

The bathroom will be open from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.

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