Proposed location of would-be San Jacinto Plaza restrooms has some concerned

San Jacinto Restrooms?

EL PASO, Texas - The City of El Paso is looking into the lack of restrooms for downtown visitors.

Council considered installing bathrooms at the newly renovated San Jacinto Plaza but says it would cost nearly half a million dollars. So now - the city is looking at building some.

"I don't think it's right, because they're little, they can't hold it for too long, they have to go right there. Let's say you have an emergency, your child gets sick. You don't want to walk two blocks, you want to change them right there."

Sydney Balkin, a mother of three young kids, is not happy about not having restrooms at the plaza.

City officials say on two separate occasions, the majority of council members decided not to have them installed there. Also, the city doesn't install restrooms at parks less than 11 acres in size. The city's proposal to install restrooms at the two nearby locations-Cleveland Square and Aztec Park, would cost $90,000. The proposed, "Portland Loos" are sturdy flush toilet kiosks. The pricing alone is a huge difference from the nearly $400,000 to install them at the plaza.

But some aren't liking that idea.

"This is supposed to be a park that's supposed to be the jewel of this downtown area, which is very important, so we're now looking at placing restroom facilities, away from it," City Representative Lily Limon said.

Other options discussed by council, the downtown library, which includes nine restrooms and public restrooms surrounding the plaza.

"Of course, there's lots of businesses around that do allow people to come in and use their bathrooms," City Rep Dr. Michiel Noe said.

"Public places won't even let you use the bathroom, you have to be a customer," Balkin said.

Abc-7 went looking for restrooms--16 different locations to be exact, all located at least a block from San Jacinto Plaza.

Out of the 16 different locations there are only 9 with public restrooms available for use.

"It would make sense to put the bathrooms in the park, not have to go, can I change my child here, can I change my child here, when you can just change your child right there and know that you won't get denied," Balkin said.

City council has yet to make a final decision, they said they want more options. 

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