The Honey Bucket at the Ballard Commons Park will be removed, according to the city of Seattle. The portable toilet was placed at the park earlier this summer on a trial basis, and after a recent community survey, Seattle Parks and the Human Services Department (HSD) have decided that the toilet be removed on Tuesday, Dec. 4.
The survey had 332 respondents, and 53 percent said they didn’t want the toilet to stay in the park. Another 38 percent said they would like to remain, and 9 percent weren’t sure. The HSD says over 90 percent of the respondents were residents of Ballard. One respondent commented that the, “intended users seem to not always use it,” adding that it looks ugly and voicing concern that it provides a place for “serious drug use.” Another commented, “as a community, we need to provide a toilet in a heavily used public space. It is the right thing to do. It also gives those who are homeless a place to use the restroom when they cannot necessarily do that in many other places.” To view a PDF of the survey results, click here.
The department will look for a private location for the portable toilet to help serve the needs of homeless in the neighborhood. HSD says if a location can’t be found, Seattle Parks will allow the toilet to return to the park next summer on a three-month basis so long as the toilet and the area surrounding it is cleaned more frequently. Other conditions include, “measures to provide needed services to homeless people and address illegal activity and public safety at the park.”
The decision to remove the toilet comes at a time when the Low Income House Institute (LIHI) is forming an advisory committee to discuss the possibility of an Urban Rest Stop at the development at 2014 NW 57th Street. Ballard has been identified as having the second largest homeless population in the city, which is why LIHI has proposed a rest stop for the project.