Civil Beat member Peter Rosegg has told me that he thinks the site needs a lighter side. “Useful but humorous. Child-like, not childish. Etc.”

His suggestion: something he’s been calling the imaginarium. I like the idea of a Civil Beat Imaginarium.

This is a place for you to share ideas, simple to sophisticated, to make Hawaii a better place. “No idea too small or off-beat, because, who knows, maybe others can improve on it or help make it happen,” Peter wrote me. “Maybe it already exists.”

Here’s his short starter list:

  1. A drive-through health food restaurant.
  2. Clean windows on buses.
  3. A paved, shaded bike path from Waikiki to downtown via Ala Moana Center and Park. A bike share rack at either end and Ala Moana with junk bikes free or good ones for rent at reasonable prices. (Swipe a credit card, remove a bike, ride at rates that get progressively more expensive until you return it, use your receipt for a free bus ride with all the packages bought at Ala Moana.)
  4. Semi-organized impromptu ride or taxi sharing, like the jitney system in old Hilo.
  5. Stand-up urinals for street parties like hoolaulea or at the Shell and similar venues to cut lines at intermission. (On this last subject, when Sean Hao wrote an article about the planned toilets for the rail system, I wrote a letter to the newspaper. They ran part, but refused to print the perfectly acceptable French word, pissoir, the photo to accompany and explain the letter. I attach the letter and the photo for your consideration. Can Civil Beat say “pissoir?” Can you print a picture of a modern day pissoir? You don’t have to keep a straight face.

(The answer, Peter, is of course you can say pissoir at Civil Beat. We can also print a picture.)

public urinal

Here’s the letter Peter sent the paper.

Your article on toilets planned for rail stations raises the larger issue of public toilets (or the lack thereof) in Honolulu. I doubt I am the only one to find myself occasionally “all dressed up with nowhere to go.”

In Europe, particularly France, the pissoir or public urinal is a time-honored sight on city streets. Granted, this solution meets the needs of only half the population, though in my experience it is the half with the least bladder control.

I was recently in Holland during Queen’s Day. The national holiday is celebrated as a sort of cross between Mardi Gras and St. Patrick’s Day with day-long public partying and consumption of substantial quantities of “adult beverages.”

I attach a photo of the kind of public urinal one sees around Dutch cities. It is simple (a hose connects to the nearest sewer), able to serve four persons on once and virtually vandal proof. A few of these at the Shell and similar venues during concerts or in discreet alleys during street parties, parades and the like would be a big relief. It would make Honolulu a much more livable city.

Peter Rosegg

I look forward to reading other ideas.

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