Mary’s Musings

Where’s the nearest bathroom?

Posted:  Wednesday, August 2, 2017 - 8:30am

Some folks who live near Old Orchard Beach, as well as visitors, have been complaining recently to Town Fathers that the beach lacks easily accessible rest room facilities. They maintain that it’s sometimes  a 15- or 20-minute walk to the nearest one, and some beach-goers either can’t wait, or won’t. When they need to go,  they’re using the dunes or the ocean instead, and not only to urinate.  Not good.

It’s hard to know just how bad the problem is, but even if it’s happening only occasionally, it needs to stop.

Boothbay Harbor, like Old Orchard and other popular tourist towns, welcomes thousands of visitors each summer and while nobody really likes having rest rooms close to their place of business, the fact remains that they’re a necessity. Perhaps some of you remember the discussion a few years ago on the need for facilities closer to the main street and the footbridge area in Boothbay Harbor, when folks argued that having to direct someone to the whale park on the waterfront was sometimes quite a hike. After debating the issue, taxpayers agreed it was a problem. Boothbay Harbor has made a real effort to provide easily accessible, clean facilities.

When you encourage visitors to your town, you have to meet some of their needs, i.e. readily accessible rest rooms, safe sidewalks, parking lots, security and other necessities. We could use some better signage directing visitors to our rest rooms, which shouldn’t be too difficult or costly.

In recent years, we’ve found that some Maine schools don’t have readily accessible facilities near some of their outdoor fields, not even porta potties, which now come in relatively clean, presentable models.Long walks from playing fields to indoor rest rooms aren’t always the best solution. Again, Boothbay Harbor provides great facilities for its school athletes and visitors.

Maine, in general, could stand some improvements when it comes to catering to the traveling public, i.e. rest rooms along our major highways. We’re sure they’re costly to maintain but we were disappointed when they discontinued facilities between Bath and West Bath, removing the rest areas completely along with other rest areas in the state. Some traveling our main roads should, in our opinion, find more rest areas here. Motorists shouldn’t have to pull off the highway into a built-up business district to look for a bathroom.  The fewer the rest stops, the more we encourage them to take to the woods.