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Council wants public washrooms at SkyTrain stations

Burnaby council has approved a motion to call on TransLink to provide public washrooms at SkyTrain stations.

The decision came out of a resolution from the TransLink Access Transit Users' Advisory Committee requesting that municipalities adopt programs to increase the number of public toilets around transit hubs and major gathering places.

After some discussion, the city's Traffic Safety Committee felt it was TransLink's responsibility and recommended council state that position to the regional transportation authority.

"I'm not getting any younger, my bladder's not getting any stronger, my capacity wasn't as good as when I was 21," said Coun. Nick Volkow at a recent council meeting. "I know this would be greatly appreciated by just about everybody in the Lower Mainland."

He suggested council should be advocating for more public toilets at Metro Vancouver as well and suggested that the price of installing a stand-alone facility would be nominal.

But Mayor Derek Corrigan wasn't sold on the idea.

Corrigan noted that even if TransLink were to take it on, the same taxpayers pay for TransLink as well.

His concerns are mainly over high maintenance costs, saying that when he was chair of B.C. Transit that was one of its biggest challenges, and if such an initiative were implemented it could result in costs having to be cut elsewhere to pay for it.

Corrigan said he was just not convinced it would be money well spent.

The motion was approved, with Corrigan the lone council member opposed.

Council also asked staff to prepare a memo with information on public washroom facilities in Victoria and Portland, Ore.

wchow@burnabynewsleader.com

twitter.com/WandaChow

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