BELLINGHAM, Wash. — Portable toilets are scheduled to arrive at the Whatcom Transportation Authority Downtown Bellingham Station today due to a decision to close the facility’s bathroom due to drug use and vandalism.
WTA spokesperson Maureen McCarthy told Whatcom News in an email they are closing the restroom at the Bellingham Station tomorrow, March 4th.
While a date has not been set yet, they plan to close the Cordata Station’s as well.
When asked what led to the decision to take this action, McCarthy said, “We started to see indications of drug use at the beginning of 2022, as well as some incidences of disruptive vandalism. Both increased, especially over the past six weeks.”
We’ve had to shut the bathrooms for things like intentionally clogged toilets and other disruptive vandalism. Staff and riders have also experienced smoke and fumes in the restroom, as well as a smell that [WTA Safety Manager Jeff Benson] described as “burnt peanut butter and brake fluid.”Whatcom Transportation Authority Spokesperson Maureen McCarthy (March 3, 2022)
After closing the bathrooms, they will be cleaned and aired out. As for when they will be reopened, McCarthy said they are considering implementing a security feature that would permit access only by permission.
“We’re sorry for the inconvenience the temporary closure will cause to the many, many passengers (the great majority) who use the restrooms for their intended use,” McCarthy added.