Balduck Park, along Chandler Park Drive on Detroit’s east side, has just received a $2.7 million makeover, and the park looks better than it has in decades.
One little known improvement in the park is a modern new restroom, which was invented by the staff of Brad Dick, director of the city of Detroit's General Services Department.
Bridge Magazine reports the restroom is a unisex, self-composting facility with a solar panel that runs the lights at night. Designed to be vandal-proof, the restroom has two steel toilets, no sinks, no mirrors and no hand driers.
It also has no doors.
None. There are no barriers between the toilets and the space in front of the bathrooms, and no way to determine if the toilet is being used other than walking in and looking.
Dick said the new restroom has proven to be a good solution to the vandalism and scrapping that frequently ruins other facilities in Detroit, sometimes even before they open to the public. The doorless approach also protects children from becoming trapped or a victim of crime, he said. The Balduck restroom will be used in other parks.
“Most people are like, ‘ugh, it’s not a nice bathroom,’” Dick acknowledged. “It’s not nice. It’s not pretty. But it’s better than someone just whipping it out in public and going behind a tree.”