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Chicago resolution seeks improved public access to restrooms

CHICAGO (AP) — A group of Chicago City Council mem- bers has signed a resolution to improve public access to rest- rooms.

The Chicago Tribune reports that 19 aldermen are support- ing Alderman Daniel LaSpata’s proposal after a review by the newspaper last fall found large sections of the city had little or no public access to restrooms.

“What jumps out for most people is that this is related pri- marily to homelessness, but re- ally it’s for all Chicagoans,” LaS- pata told the Tribune. “Anyone who’s out for a run, any parent who’s out with their child … and had an emergency need and felt like they had no options, this is a resolution promoting a solu- tion for you.”

The resolution charges the city council with developing a plan to increase the number of restrooms. More than 20 advo- cacy groups along with state of- ficials back the idea.

Portable toilets installed at a Jefferson Park “L” station this year during a maintenance proj- ect were a hit, said Democratic state Rep. Lindsey LaPointe.

The newspaper’s review found that most barrier-free pub- lic bathrooms aren’t open at night or are closed during cold months. The approximately 250 operated by the Chicago Transit Authority aren’t open to non- riders.

Police have issued 29,000 tickets since 2016 to people caught relieving themselves outdoors.

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