I was driving back to work after lunch at around 1 p.m. on Monday when I saw something disgusting.
There, underneath the Lougheed SkyTrain station, in full view of everyone walking or driving by, was a gross dude peeing on the side of a cement post.
His clothing, including a reflective vest, show he was clearly a construction worker. I must reiterate that this was in full view. He didn’t even bother trying to go behind the post or across the street to a batch of trees.
Nope, he just decided to unzip and let fly. Several people walked by him and had disgusted looks on their faces.
It’s not the first time I’ve seen this before, of course. I’ve seen many dudes at 2 a.m. outside of bars taking a whiz in a back alley. I’m not condoning the back-alley behaviour, but it’s a lot better than the times I’ve seen dumb dudes do this in the middle of the day right in front of people. At least make an attempt to find a hidden spot.
Now, this brings up the issue of SkyTrain stations not having public bathrooms for people. This definitely needs to change and TransLink at least has some sort of plan to fix this in the future.
I definitely have sympathy for people taking transit who don’t have access to a bathroom. But there is a gas station just a 60-second walk from this spot. That’s a far better option than being gross.
I did a bit of a deep, uh, dive on public urination and it’s one that many cities are struggling with. In May, the City of Victoria was discussing its deployment of “peeosks” on weekend nights around local bars. That’s one idea, but it’s limited to just one type of situation.
In a 2018 TransLink survey, increasing the availability of washrooms on the transit system was listed as the second-biggest priority for users with 53 per cent listing that as their top issue, below increasing service to minimize overcrowding and pass-ups.
Armed with that survey data, TransLink is having management use the Customer Washroom on Transit Policy to implement a strategy for an approach, budget and timeline for the project.
According to a TransLink report, partnerships with third parties will be a big part of this plan to save on having to renovate existing transit stations by having washroom access nearby.
So, yeah, it’s true that TransLink needs to work on this, but this still doesn’t excuse grown men from pissing out in public in the middle of the day.
Walk a little and find yourself a washroom. You’re a grownup – start acting like one.
Follow Chris Campbell on Twitter @shinebox44.