Corrections & Clarifications: The previous hours of access to public restrooms in Glendale has been updated. 

Starting today, there will no longer be access to as many public restrooms in downtown Glendale.

The city is shutting down the public bathrooms in Murphy Park and the Bank of America building that were open from sunrise to 10 p.m. seven days a week.

There will still be public bathrooms available downtown, but for limited hours.

The change comes because of health and safety concerns with the bathrooms.

Baths, drugs spotted in bathrooms

The city’s cleaning and maintenance staff reports finding “numerous needles and drug paraphernalia in the Bank of America bathrooms,” according to city spokesman Jay Crandall.

“When servicing the bathrooms they noticed damage to the mirrors, toilet paper dispensers, writing on the wall, and the fire sprinkler heads were also found stuffed with toilet paper,” Crandall wrote.

Improper use of the bathrooms by people who are homeless is part of the concern, according to Councilman Jamie Aldama.

Some business owners in downtown Glendale have said, in the last year, that there has been an increase in the transient population downtown.

Security guards have found people taking baths, sleeping in the stalls and refusing entrance to others, Crandall wrote.

Other staff has found drug paraphernalia, as well as “active drug activity and remains of sexual activity,” Crandall said.

“The use pattern is heavy and staff has found hair clogging sinks, human waste on the floor, belongings stashed,” he said. “The damage ranges from vandalism of interior fixtures to serious clogging of plumbing requiring the space to be closed.”

The Murphy Park bathrooms to be closed are at the Velma Teague Branch Library and accessible through exterior doors. The bathrooms at the Bank of America building were also accessible through an exterior door, Crandall said.

Other bathrooms available for limited hours

The bathrooms accessible inside Velma Teague Branch Library and Glendale City Hall will still be open to the public during the hours that those buildings are open.

Glendale City Hall is open from 7:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

The library is open noon to 8 p.m. Mondays and Thursdays; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays; 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday and noon to 5 p.m. Saturday. It is closed Sunday.

That means there will be no public restrooms available between either 6 or 8 p.m. and 7:30 a.m. on weekdays, and during the weekend starting 2 p.m. Friday, except for noon to 5 p.m. Saturday.

During special events, the bathrooms in Murphy Park will reopen.

Councilman receives complaints about homeless

Councilman Aldama said his office has received complaints from people who said they couldn’t use the bathrooms because there were transient people in them, and concerns about there being water everywhere, as if people were using the bathrooms to shower.

He also said the custodial company that cleans the bathrooms had reached out to his office with concerns.

He said he’s supportive of the city closing the bathrooms, at least temporarily while the city figures out how to address the issue.

“We have to make sure we have amenities that are appropriate for people to use,” he said.

Aldama said he wasn’t sure whether the amount of public urination and defecation would increase with the bathrooms closed.

The Glendale Police Department will help with issues that occur because of the “displacement of those who were inappropriately using the facilities,” according to the city.

Reach the reporter at [email protected] or at 602-444-8763. Follow her on Twitter @JenAFifield

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