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There’s probably nothing more alarming than walking into a public restroom and finding someone has made it their bedroom. This has happened to me on more than one occasion, especially at the restrooms near the Ala Wai Yacht Harbor. I usually opt not to do my business in the ocean, when I’m out surfing, so I have no choice but to creep past the person and quickly alleviate myself in an empty stall next door.
Those awkward bathroom moments when you walk in on someone sleeping in the stall. A new policy aims to change that.
It’s not that I feel unsafe but rather, I feel awkward walking in on someone who has obviously claimed it as their own. It’s like walking into someone’s home. My friend said she usually has someone wait outside for her when she uses those same bathrooms. On more than one occasion, she reported seeing men in the women’s restroom and felt unsafe.
Because of these growing occurrences experienced by beach-goers and the increased vandalism, the state implemented a policy earlier this year that limits the public from using several restrooms along Oahu’s southern shores. According to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, the following restrooms will be affected by the policy:
Hilton Hawaiian Village
(1) Kahanamoku Street: 8am-5pm
(2) Paoa Place: 530am-8pm
City & County of Honolulu
(1) Kuhio Beach comfort station: 630am-10pm
(2) Ōhua comfort station: 630am-10pm
(3) Queen’s Surf comfort station: 24 hours
(4) Kapiolani Center Beach comfort station: 630am-10pm
(5) Natatorium comfort station: 630am-730pm
(Top) The Kuhio Beach comfort station is one of several with new hours. (Bottom) This will prevent restrooms from getting defaced and trashed.
I’ve also noticed the vandalism in bathrooms, writings on the walls and such. But according to the article, hotels have reported damage must worse. Sink areas have been vandalized and toilets broken in half. How disrespectful. This is what happens when a few people take advantage of a privilege often overlooked as one. Everyone pays the consequences. Fortunately, the beaches usually clear out by sunset, so using the restrooms after that time isn’t in as high a demand. If you’re visiting, be sure to ask your hotel concierge where the hotel restrooms or ones from neighboring hotels are located.