Archive for Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Toilet tolerance

November 18, 2009


Residents of Oread Neighborhood have chosen, for various reasons, to live in close proximity to Kansas University. They know that their area north and east of campus includes many rental properties with a high concentration of students. They know that means a certain amount of tolerance will be required on their part.

But there’s a limit.

Oread residents are well aware that football weekends are a busy time, especially when the Jayhawk team is doing well. More fans mean more demand for parking spaces near Memorial Stadium — parking spaces KU doesn’t have available — so residents have accepted having their streets parked full for blocks in all directions and having many yards close to the stadium used as parking and tailgating locations.

But, as we said, there’s a limit.

Residents probably would have overlooked portable toilets being placed in yards on game days, but having to look at those toilets dotting residential yards in their neighborhoods throughout the entire football season is too much. Residents of any other neighborhood in Lawrence wouldn’t put up with it, and Oread residents shouldn’t be any different.

Allowing tailgaters who are eating and drinking to use the bathrooms in houses where they are parked apparently isn’t an option for the people who profit from turning their houses into parking lots on game days. Those people say it’s too expensive to have portable toilets delivered and removed for every home game and that their neighbors should just be happy they’re keeping tailgaters from relieving themselves on nearby trees and bushes.

There are differences of opinion on whether that’s a good tradeoff, but the bottom line is that Oread Neighborhood residents shouldn’t have to accept either circumstance. They deserve to have visitors conduct themselves in a civilized manner and they shouldn’t be forced to have their neighborhood dotted by portable toilets for months at a time to accomplish that goal.

City officials have received one formal complaint about the toilets but haven’t figured out what to do about it. It seems like a pretty simple issue of setting a time limit on how long a portable toilet, not located on a construction site, can be parked in a residential neighborhood. If it’s for an event, a day or two ought to do. There is no justification for leaving toilets in yards for three months or more.

Oread residents have to look at this eyesore every day, but this situation also reflects poorly on the city as a whole. City officials should approve a toilet time limit and then work with KU officials to address the broader issue of parking and tailgating behavior near the stadium.


John Hamm 8 years, 6 months ago

On the button. There's a lot of stuff permitted in the Oread area, parking, noise, blight because, "well, that's a students area" that simply would not be tolerated in other areas of town.

canyon_wren 8 years, 6 months ago

I can't believe the portable toilets would be allowed in the first place, let alone allowed to remain for the season!

imastinker 8 years, 6 months ago

There are sure a lot of people out there that like to tell other people what they should and should not be able to do on their own property.

Are you sure you want these people to look at putting up permanent structures that stay up all year long?

justforfun 8 years, 6 months ago

I say make us put a tarp over them during the week just like people do for old cars, motorcyles,wood piles,etc... What do you think? Because I promise you this happens all over town from east to west & north to south. Otherwise you will have people peeing and pooping behind shrubs and trees wherever they can. Sorry, just telling the truth.

pace 8 years, 6 months ago

Pitiful statement is this issue would be nullified if the "team was winning" shows the type of mentality that associates excusing poor behavior with sports winning. It is the person who hides from personal responsibility because they find permission in the mob mentality. It says lets get drunk, let's trash other's property, let's vomit on others, let's bribe players, beat up people, winning is the only thing. What miserable person thinks that one can be crass or rude because how they "feel" about a team. It is this corruption of sports culture that has taken sports to decayed decadent excess instead of healthy athleticism and sportsmanship. There is no movement to keep sportsmanship or concern for the individual in sports today. There is no I in team, just a $ sign. Today's sports is a drug that harms youth as surely as drink. Over played, pushed, corrupted, propagandized, injured, young people supporting the adrenalin rush of tailgaters. Youth continually told winning is the only thing. There is no character building just justification of behaviors, excuses. Since we won't be scrapping the system. The tarps are a good idea. We need potty cozies, anybody for competitive crocheting.

If a different class of people were in line for an event, potties would need a permit, permitted only for the event, and anyone caught in the bushes would be jailed.

canyon_wren 8 years, 6 months ago

You're right, Pace.

Years ago my husband and I owned a little house on Illinois, just a block from the stadium. Like many of our neighbors, we parked cars in our yard (for a buck apiece) on game days. There was a fellow down the street who worked for the IRS and would come around and jot down names of neighbors who parked cars in their yards and count the number of cars, etc. I don't know if he ever did anything with that info, though.

Who PAYS for the porta-potties? Anyone besides us taxpayers? It sounds like a fairly expensive proposition.

shorttrees 8 years, 6 months ago

The problem with the porta-potties seems to be that they are considered an "eyesore" by some of the neighbors nearby. So why can't the renters of the structures do something to camouflage them? Tarps as one person suggested, or a more discrete location might help; or simply buy some hinges and lattice panels and make a screen. Dress it up with artificial greenery and vines and blend it with the yard landscaping (if there is any). At the end of the season put the screen away and have Anderson haul off the porta-potty. No eyesores, no "fertilizing" of the yard, happier neighbors.

GardenMomma 8 years, 6 months ago

Am I missing something here? Doesn't the article state that the port-a-potties are IN THE YARDS? How gross is that? I sure wouldn't want a portable toilet in my yard, especially for three months!

Did the homeowners give permission for these things to be placed in the yards or are the toilets on the city easement?

shorttrees 8 years, 6 months ago

GardenMomma-- People living in the Oread neighborhood (and in some cases their landlords), who sell spaces in their drives and yards for game parking/tailgating, are renting porta-potties and having them placed in their yards for use by game day space renters. Some of the neighbors object to their appearance and use.

GardenMomma 8 years, 6 months ago

Ah! I see now. Thanks. I was under the impression that the City or KU were placing these things on the lawns of said houses.

Not that that makes the toilets any less ugly. I certainly wouldn't want to have a yucky toilet on my lawn.

Perhaps the Oread Neighborhood Association (if there is one) should meet and discuss the issue.

Deb Stavin 8 years, 6 months ago

KU Athetics should provide toilets for their tailgating patrons and ticketholders, on KU property...maybe at the edge of the parking lots. It is outrageous that neighborhood residents have to resort to renting porta-potties to accommodate KU sports fans, considering the amount of money KU Athletics rakes in through donations and ticket sales.

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