Archive for Friday, November 13, 2009

Oread residents hope to flush portable toilets out of neighborhood

As crowds clamor for KU football, portable toilets have become a fixture

With the help of a neighbor near 10th and Illinois, Amy Rzadczynski and her boyfriend had a portable toilet delivered for a 2009 football game day. Rzadczynski said, “Yes, it’s an eyesore but at least they are not using my trees or bushes.” The city is now contemplating regulating portable toilets during game days.

With the help of a neighbor near 10th and Illinois, Amy Rzadczynski and her boyfriend had a portable toilet delivered for a 2009 football game day. Rzadczynski said, “Yes, it’s an eyesore but at least they are not using my trees or bushes.” The city is now contemplating regulating portable toilets during game days.

November 13, 2009


Portable toilets offer a little more on gameday

With KU football fans scrapping for places to park on game days, many find there way into the Oread neighborhood. Along with parking, residents in the area are now renting port-a-potties to offer their customers a little bit more. Enlarge video

Yes, there’s talk about toilets as the Jayhawks prepare for their final home game of the year. And no, it is not what you think.

How should we say it: There’s a controversy swirling, there’s a stink being raised, there’s a, well, maybe we should stop there.

In simple terms, some residents of the Oread Neighborhood are concerned about a growing trend of property owners renting portable toilets for the use of people who rent parking spaces in neighborhood yards on game day.

The problem, neighbors said, is that the toilets are left in neighborhood yards for the entire season.

“I don’t think that would go over very well in West Lawrence or many other neighborhoods,” said Candice Davis, an Oread resident. I think it is totally disrespectful.”

Mark Dale-Thompson, the portable toilet manager for Anderson Rentals, said he services 11 of the toilets that are on lawns and driveways in Oread.

He said there’s long been a few of the portable toilets in the neighborhood on game days, but he said the trend has increased significantly as crowds have grown at the stadium.

“People now start tailgating hours and hours before the game,” Dale-Thompson said. “It has become a real festive event.”

Not surprisingly, he thinks, the toilets beat the alternative, which might be known as a tree or a bush.

A few neighbors also seemed to think as much.

“I would say there are other issues that are more bothersome,” said Erin Besson, a five-year resident of the neighborhood who lives around the corner from one of the toilets. “I would rank belligerent drunks and litter higher.”

Cathy Sirimongkhon, who has lived in the neighborhood for about 15 years, also said she wasn’t overly concerned with the issue, as long as the toilets are regularly emptied and maintained. She said concerns about odor and people tipping the toilets over were her biggest fears.

Dale-Thompson said that’s his biggest concern too. He said he services the toilets shortly after the game is over and once the area clears out. (We’re talking about traffic.)

He said most of the toilets need it.

“I can tell you they are really getting used,” Dale-Thompson said.

In the category of facts you may not want to know, Dale-Thompson said a typical portable toilet at a construction job site typically has 15 to 20 gallons of “material” in it when Dale-Thompson services it once per week. The Oread toilets have about 75 gallons.

“I would guess the post-beer content of those toilets are probably higher too,” Dale-Thompson said.

The city has received at least one formal complaint about the toilet situation. City planners, though, aren’t quite sure how to respond yet. Scott McCullough, director of planning and development services, said his staff is going to have to do more research about what the city code does or doesn’t say about portable toilets.

Yes, a little bathroom reading, so to speak. (Yeah, this story really needs to end soon.)

Despite the plethora of puns, several Oread residents said the situation isn’t a laughing matter. Jerry Stubbs, past president of the Oread Neighborhood Association, said the issue came up at a recent association meeting.

The neighborhood association would like the city to take steps before next football season that would ban long-term storage of portable toilets in yards, Stubbs said. Neighbors said it would be more reasonable for people who are charging people to park in their yards to open up their home bathrooms to the parkers. Or, the tailgaters could always go to the stadium and use the bathrooms there.

Another option is for the toilets to be removed after each game. Dale-Thompson said that would significantly increase the costs parking operators must pay. He said he charges about $90 per four weeks if the toilets don’t have to be moved except at the end of the season. If they were moved after each game, it would be about $70 per week.

Neighbors, though, said they are concerned that the current practice may be costing them, especially in their efforts to have Oread perceived as an area that is fine for families in addition to students.

“I would say it just trashes up the neighborhood,” Davis said. “And come on, it’s gross.”


hujiko 8 years, 5 months ago

One more thing on a long list that does not need mandating by a governing body. Fix REAL problems before complaining about non-issues.

H_Lecter 8 years, 5 months ago

Why not just adopt the filthy culture of France for a day of public urination. Any public property is free game, alleys parks, walls, sidewalks (and any adjoining doorway).

EarthaKitt 8 years, 5 months ago

hujiko - I think this is exactly the kind of thing that SHOULD be 'mandated by a governing body.' While I don't relish the thought of someone tinkling-or worse- in my yard (I live near downtown and stand guard in my yard frequently during March Madness), I kind of think I would prefer that over a giant green poop tank begging to be tipped over. Even when they're clean they're pretty yucky. Surely there is already a city ordinance in place.

Leslie Swearingen 8 years, 5 months ago

When I was living at the corner of 13th and Tennessee, an upstairs window was open, and I heard a , um, tinkling sound and a girl saying, "I just love to pee in the open. It just makes me feel so free!" Why can't they put up public toilets like they have in the parks close to where most of the tailgating is done?

Bassetlover 8 years, 5 months ago

Whoa....this is way TMI !! But honestly, I would be on the warpath if this was going on in my neighborhood so I'm with Candice on this issue.

sherlock 8 years, 5 months ago

Well golly apparently anything goes in our fair city. Why just let the "portable commodes" sit all thru football season?. After all who is controlling Lawrence? Yep apparently KU. Seems people should curb the tail gating in neighborhoods then the potties wouldnt be necessary. The neigborhood wouldnt lose the revenue for parking cars in yards, just that the early birds could wait until closer to game time instead of showing up at the "crack of dawn" to barbeque and drink! This present problem seems just a little unsanitary, and needless! Anything goes if you are going to a KU game?

Leslie Swearingen 8 years, 5 months ago

Bassetlover, sorry, but think how I felt when it happened. Just one reason I moved. You have a point. I was just in the moment, but I will try to think twice and submit once. Or whatever.

Leslie Swearingen 8 years, 5 months ago

My bedroom was upstairs and the girl was in the yard. Did I make that clear? I admit I was rather shocked because it was a girl doing such a thing.

gccs14r 8 years, 5 months ago

Make it illegal for non-residents to park in the neighborhoods on game days and have them all go park at the park and ride lot on 23rd. Normally it's illegal to park a car on an unpaved portion of a residential lot, so why is that ordinance ignored for the benefit of KUAC?

Gareth Skarka 8 years, 5 months ago

Do you live there, consumer1?

Howsabout we drop a dozen over-full portajohns on YOUR street, shall we? See how much you like having your home looking (and smelling) like crap (literally).

larrytdog 8 years, 5 months ago


The toilets are EMPTY!!! By definition, something which is not there cannot smell like crap, even if the thing which has been removed used to be crap.

flyin_squirrel 8 years, 5 months ago

Anyone else sick of Candice Davis and the Oread Neighborhood Association? Here she gives a positive recommendation to a hotel with 100 hotel rooms, a 500 person dance club, 300 person balcony bar, 3 other bars, 3 restaurants, a salon, Jimmy John's and a boutique in the Oread, but has been complaining to the city about parking, and now porta potties. She needs to get a life and realize she lives in a University neighborhood...

svenway_park 8 years, 5 months ago

I think if consumer1 had an ugly blue box or two or three or four with 75 gallons per of excrement per sitting on his fence line he might not be so unsympathetic. He would be whining about the city codes were not being enforced!

What is the address consumer1? We can run a few over your way.

igby 8 years, 5 months ago

Yea! I kind of like the pissing that goes on in the Oread district. People just piss every where. In your yard, Girls dropping their pants and squatting on the curb. I even saw some jerk walking and pissing on the sidewalk and he never even stopped to zip up.

svenway_park 8 years, 5 months ago

Candy may be an nut-idiot, but using the Oread neighborhood as a 10-week porta-pottie dump site is pretty insulting, from any measure.

That is the bottom line.

Taxpayer 8 years, 5 months ago

The BIG question is: are there any Mangino-size port-a-potties available? Just in in case the Jayhawks win one more football game this year and the Coach is out celebrating afterwards

cowboy 8 years, 5 months ago

Taxpayer , you just turn it on it's side and open the door.

larrytdog 8 years, 5 months ago


That is NOT the bottom line. The bottom line is you have crowds of people who need restrooms. You can either provide them with a modern, sanitary solution, or you can dump 700 gallons of waste on the ground every weekend.

And what, exactly, is so "ugly" about 4 walls, a door, and a pitched roof. If that is "ugly" then isn't every house in that neighborhood "ugly" too?

OutlawJHawk 8 years, 5 months ago

Oread radicals...YOU chose to buy homes next to a stadium. With your well thought-out purchase comes, crowds, rowdy fans, drinking, traffic congestion, public intoxication, noise and of course pissing. If you can't stand this atmosphere for 5 or 6 Saturdays a year, move your whiney arse to the west side of town...or the east side if you are economically challenged.

I commend everyone that is paying to have a portable toilet placed on their Oread neighborhood property. You are responsible citizens trying to solve one of the dilemmas; the human need to urinate, privately, after 12 beers at a football game. Bravo to porta potties and to those with them on their property during the football season!

Mike Wagner 8 years, 5 months ago

I think if the poeple in the neighborhood are ok with getting to park cars in the yard and make $300 to $500 each time (tax free I might add) they should be ok with the portable toilets, however the city should enforce the pickup of the toilets each and every week. If the people that are renting them don't want to pay the extra money they can just not rent one and everybody can go back to peeing (and what-not) right out in the open. After all people have to have something to bitch about! Personally I've never understood Lawrence making special exceptions to the law by letting some people take advantage, but not others?

Steve Miller 8 years, 5 months ago

For the spirit of cooperation, they need to put one on the side lines of the football game today for use when they get their !sses kicked up between their shoulders once more. Strength of schedule is what it's all about..

Steve Miller 8 years, 5 months ago

what would Big Lew do with port-a-pottie's in his neighborhood?

He would set up shop, charge twice as much for a duce as opposed to a single.

Leslie Swearingen 8 years, 5 months ago

Well, this doesn't look too bad too me. It is unobtrusive. I wish they had shown the picture from the first. I now think all of the hoopla is way overdone.

jumpin_catfish 8 years, 5 months ago

Port-o-potty we don't need no stinkin' port-o-potty. Let em pee and poop behind a tree like every other drunkin', disrespectful sports fan does all over the world. Anyway, I really don't care because I don't live in the neighborhood and almost never go over there.

mcontrary 8 years, 5 months ago

From the volume of the content of the porta-potties, there is obviously a need for them. Why isn't the city, county or KU providing them? KU, the city and the county all benefit from tailgating so the sure as heck should be providing porta-potties for it. It's incomprehensible that they don't now. A portable potty is not a thing of beauty, not what I'd want displayed next door or across the street. I would definitely be complaining if they were.

parrothead8 8 years, 5 months ago

OutlawJHawk (Anonymous) says…

Oread radicals…YOU chose to buy homes next to a stadium. With your well thought-out purchase comes, crowds, rowdy fans, drinking, traffic congestion, public intoxication, noise and of course pissing. If you can't stand this atmosphere for 5 or 6 Saturdays a year, move your whiney arse to the west side of town…or the east side if you are economically challenged.

Agreed. It's not like tailgating in that area is a new phenomenon. With tailgating comes people who need to pee. They're either going to do it in your yard or in a port-a-pottie.

George_Braziller 8 years, 5 months ago

cheeseburger -- The "why-don't-you-move" bit is really old and tired. There are many, many, many people who have lived in the older neighborhoods around campus and downtown for years. I guess you think we should all shut up and go away.

Better yet, why don't you come by tomorrow and pick up some of the trash left behind by your ilk.

flyin_squirrel 8 years, 5 months ago


I don't think you should shut up but I do think Candice Davis needs to be a voice of the neighborhood, not her opinion. There are definitely some pressing issues in all neighborhoods but she uses the Oread Neighborhood Association as a means to address her personal gripes.

If she doesn't like the port-a-potties being there all week, why doesn't the Oread Neighborhood Association pay for port-a-potties to be placed around the neighborhood every gameday, then picked up. After all, our city gives the Oread Neighborhood Association money every year.

I think there are other ways around issues than making the city pass another ordinance that will rarely be inforced.

flyin_squirrel 8 years, 5 months ago

Anyone know the exact amount of money the Oread Neighborhood Association is given from the city coffers? I believe it is around 8k to 10k a year. Perfect use for some of this money since they are profiting off the gameday parking.

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