Desperately purchasing unwanted lattes for access codes to coffee shop restrooms may soon be a thing of the past.
As the name implies, the goal is to open 100 free restrooms throughout downtown for public use. Currently, there are only 29 public restrooms scattered throughout the city—and they're not easy to find.
Because there's a limit to how long we can control our bodily functions, many people ultimately resort to going outside.
These consequences are reflected in the Downtown Improvement District's annual Perception Survey. The survey shows public urination has been a top cleanliness concern for at least five years.
To reach the goal of 100 free restrooms, the City and Downtown Improvement District are looking to add new restrooms, including portable facilities. They're also inviting private businesses to take down "No public restrooms" signs and open their private facilities to the public.
In addition to opening new facilities, the 100 Restroom Project aims to increase signage so people can easily find public restrooms. These signs will start popping up along the main corridors of downtown, including 1st Avenue, Hennepin Avenue, Nicolette, 5th Street and 7th Street.
You can also see a map of current public, pop-up, and private restrooms in Minneapolis here.
In 2015, the Downtown Improvement District launched a pilot program called Little Free Lavatory to test a free portable restroom.
That restroom was located along the south edge of Peavey Plaza. Due to its success, the portable restroom has been replaced with a three-season public restroom.