Riverside rejects idea to build public bathrooms downtown

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Riverside's Festival of Lights is a massive event that draws in thousands of people every Christmas season, but something people won't see at the celebration is permanent public restrooms. (KABC)

Riverside's Festival of Lights is a massive event that draws in thousands of people every Christmas season, but something people won't see at the celebration is permanent public restrooms.

Naomi Avila, who owns The Tamale Factory, said her restrooms are for customers only, a policy many other businesses in the area also have in place.

"They deserve public restrooms," she said. "Thousands of people coming through here, there's no way that these businesses can take these burdens on."

Consequently, with no public restrooms, Avila said she is often left cleaning up messes in the morning. But some people disagree with the need for permanent restrooms, saying homeless people could start coming into the area or cause problems.

For the time being, the Riverside City Council has rejected the idea of building public restrooms downtown, but with more big events set to come to the area the debate may not be over yet.

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