North End resident, Dr. Joe Mendola, shares these photos and describes the situation with the city toilet on Commercial Street. (Click photos to enlarge them.)

This bathroom next to the bocce courts is a shameful commentary on the city’s incompetence in providing for a fundamental community need. Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, the stench that permeates for fifty feet around cannot be transmitted in a picture. This disaster has continued for more than a year. I have called City Hall so often that the person answering the phone would recognize my voice. I am exasperated with trying to remedy this situation. Is there anyone with influence who cares about our community enough to make a difference?

WGBH Greater Boston investigates the public restroom situation in downtown Boston. In the North End, Edgar B. Herwick III gets some help from the card players on Commercial Street near the public toilet there.

“A lot of people, they want to use it, and it’s broke a week, a month at a time,” said North End resident Pasquale Barona. “And they don’t fix nothing.”

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10 COMMENTS

  1. I always try to find a hotel lobby if I need a bathroom while I’m out. They are cleaned frequently and usually pretty nice. Just walk in like you are staying there and you generally won’t be questioned.

  2. European cities maintain these public toilets quite effectively. Is it the ‘customers” or the service personnel who are abusing and neglecting the facilities? They are essential and I would love to see others. In our prudish way we deny that accessible toilets are essential to all of us-residents and visitors alike.

  3. Europeans pay much higher taxes, of course the public services are better. You can’t have it both ways. If you want to pay 60% income tax we could have some beautiful facilities around here.

  4. Gone are the days when citizens take it upon themselves to make their neighborhoods a better place. Why do that when you can just blame a public servant!

  5. Our mayor has more important things on his mind. Whatever the heck they may be.

    Jimmy, did you expect a resident to risk his/her health to clean this biohazard????

  6. Some years ago when my children played LIttle League at the North End field and the toilet had been recently installed, I started noticing two, sometimes three people going in at the same time. Once I started watching while at the Little League games I realized it was a regular occurrence. These were drug users going in to do what they do – whether buying, selling, or shooting up. This was confirmed to me by the daily service person from the Wall Company who cleaned the toilet every morning. He said it was the same story at the City Hall pay toilet. I wrote a letter to what was then the North End Regional Review trying to alert parents not to let their children use the toilet.

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