On April 7, there will be a public forum on tourism management conducted by the Department of Planning, Preservation and Sustainability.
This is an opportunity for Charleston residents to make their voices heard on a problem that continues to highlight the hypocrisy in the city's efforts to promote Charleston as a "world class" tourist destination, specifically, the lack of public rest-room facilities in the South of Broad Street and White Point Garden areas.
Because of the lack of facilities in the historic district, people are relieving themselves in White Point Garden, the Fort Sumter House parking lots and the yards of private residences around the Battery. This is unsanitary, illegal, and is disrespectful to visitors coming to this lovely city, as well as to the citizens who live in these areas.
As residents in this area, we have seen it all.
There are life safety concerns here. White Point Garden is a public park and often there are people with health issues on the verge of fainting or collapsing.
On a daily basis, we see tourists (young and old, healthy and unhealthy) who are horrified to learn that there are no facilities in this location. The fact is that they can either choose a tree in the park or just simply squat down on a public sidewalk to relieve themselves.
It's truly mind-boggling that this "world class" tourist city allows this situation to continue.
The city has spent a great deal of money demolishing the old bandstand in White Point Garden (which had bathrooms) and replacing it with another beautiful bandstand (with no bathrooms).
The seawall along East Bay Street and Murray Boulevard is currently getting much needed repairs. City crews regularly perform maintenance on the landscaping in White Point Garden and along the Battery to beautify an area that continues to attract people from all over the world.
But nobody at City Hall wants to talk about providing bathrooms.
The city has addressed the sanitary issue related to the horse and carriages in the historic district by enforcing a diaper policy and sending sanitation trucks hourly to clean up the waste from the horses.
They have also provided dog parks and guidelines regarding dog waste.
If city officials think that the horse and dog waste is serious enough to address, then why aren't they addressing this issue for humans who visit the historic district area in our city?
Other cities have solved this problem and we can too.
The meeting is on Monday, April 7 at 6 p.m., 75 Calhoun Street, in the first floor school board room.
Please attend and let your voices be heard.
Fort Sumter House Association
This letter was also signed by 22 other residents of Fort Sumter House.