Here’s some good news. The popular public restroom area at Summit Ski area in Government Camp once slated to close Halloween, 2011, will now stay open for the immediate future. The 50 year old Summit Ski area heated restroom building sits on U.S. Forest Service land and has been operated by the Oregon Dept. of Transportation for over 40 years. It is the only public restrooms on U.S. 26 between Madras and Portland.

State officials considered closing the Government Camp facility because of budgetary concerns. Operating the Summit Ski area rest area would have saved Oregon about $7,500 per month.

But how does presence of restroom affect safety? Lack of public restrooms force motorist and cyclists to relieve themselves in less secure places. For example, urinating roadside increases risk of a strike from a passing vehicle. Motorist obsessed with eliminating waste, human or otherwise, are significant subcategory of distracted. In response from the Mountain community, early 2012 the Oregon Department of Transportation agreed to keep the rest area open permanently.