High Altitude Urination

Above: Contrary to popular belief there are public restrooms available to the masses.

Remember the toilet t-issue? Well, this is a warning that things are going into the toilet again…

The snowfall in December created a sigh of relief for those local businesses–until the road chain restrictions were lifted and half of Southern California attempted to drive up into the mountains.

I don’t remember seeing such traffic–the bumper to bumper all the way down the hill onto highway 210. Hoards of people were trespassing on private property, parking in No Parking zones, and invading businesses–not to buy product or services–but to use the restrooms.

This created a dilemma for many establishments since they want to remain tourist friendly but they are not set up for public restroom use.

One location we braved the crowds to visit, locked the door behind us.

Once inside we saw that the waiting line for the restrooms was 20 people deep. The problem is that the people were not buying product and creating a load on the old toilets.

In addition, they prevented restroom use by actual customers, filled the parking lot, and interfered with commerce.

Outside the people who illegally parked filled the highway and slowed traffic. In addition their vehicles prevented emergency vehicles from getting through the main street adjacent to the station.

Once inside, the crowds began to dissipate and the discussions on how to handle the toilet using public began.

Some of the ideas included placing a table with a staff member at the entry gate to the patio and charging $5 per entry…which would be applicable to any purchases once inside.

Another was to put up maps to the local public toilets that are not too far away.

A big sign with “Restrooms for Customers Only” was placed on the door but proved ineffective and the staff didn’t want to put off visitors–a catch 22.

Although we talked about keys for the restrooms the consensus was that people would just pass them from one to the other. However, the coin operated versions might be an option.  Personally I think an armed guard might do the trick…

Click here if you missed the last royal rant but I think the funds from a toll road could provide the money for public restrooms and maintenance too.

Just why so many people are allowed up without the facilities to support them is beyond me.

PLUS I don’t hear anyone asking just how the crowds affect the PAYING customers. I believe it might be a real hindrance to returning visitors who actually spend money in town.

I certainly wouldn’t want to sit in such traffic or deal with the craziness on the highways into town. Most of these people are not spending money–they bring lunch and park illegally to trespass or enter into areas where they can engage in snowplay for free.

Which brings me back to the sanitation issue. During the last cleanup around Fawnskin the cleanup volunteers found toileting areas in public access areas…surely a health hazard.

In Big Bear there are public restrooms at the boat ramp areas and in the camping grounds. In addition, the parks and Chamber of Commerce in Big Bear provide them. The problem is that many remain closed to the public.

Down in Running Springs there are public restrooms down below town but the signage is poor.

Over in Crestline there are public restrooms over at Lake Gregory.

I think those guys who have the portable toilets should set up travel trailers and charge visitors for usage–or get a contract with the county to provide such things.

Do you know where there are additional toileting facilities–leave a comment below.

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This entry was posted on Friday, January 16th, 2009 and is filed under Mountain Lake Resort, Small Town Living.

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4 Responses to “High Altitude Urination

  • 1
    February 22nd, 2009 00:45

    I personally feel that charging someone to use a restroom to perform a natural bodily function is wrong. A toll road would be more reasonable. Residents, of course, would have a pass, comparable to the ones used on the ’91 Express Lanes.’ The revenue could be used for building more public restrooms and perhaps having restroom attendants to enforce visitors to exercise sanitary bathroom habits. Unfortunately, that has been a topic of discussion in Bear Valley since the ’70’s, to no avail.

    Another option would be to limit the number of non-residential cars coming up-the-hill. Once the limit is reached, the other traffic would be turned away. This would be costly but the prospect of gaining a cleaner community just might make it worthwhile. Of course, the business owners would complain, especially the VBA. However, a ‘dirty’ Big Bear would be more of a deterrent, I should think. Charging someone to use a toilet is somewhat inhumane. You notice that they did away with the ten-cent lock boxes, and for a darn good reason…….they weren’t God friendly~

  • 2
    GG (Gossip Girl)
    February 22nd, 2009 08:19

    @Ginger Thanks for commenting.

    While I understand your position, I disagree.

    If you have not witnessed what the visitors are doing to the public restrooms or what is happening to local businesses whose restrooms are being bombarded by NON customers you might have a better perspective on the issue.

    Recently one of our pals had a line of more than 20 people per toilet in her establishment. She pays for the cleaning and maintenance and non-paying customers are a big issue. They also take up parking and prevent her paying customers from using the facilities, having a parking place, and even accessing her counter.

    Regulation at some level is needed but I don’t think this area is progressive enough to address it.

  • 3
    February 23rd, 2009 01:28

    GG ~ Thank you for your response. Perhaps the only, and best solution, would be to turn them around at the bottom of the hill!
    Works for me!!

  • 4
    GG (Gossip Girl)
    February 23rd, 2009 08:00

    That is not a solution. I had an extensive conversation on this matter yesterday as we tried to make our way down the hill through congested areas with illegally parked vehicles (next to No Parking signs) and bumper to bumper snarls. With the current congestion and highway as it exists, putting in the infrastructure to charge tolls would not be too difficult and would generate the funds (as I mentioned previously) to pay for roads and bathrooms.