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Ya Gotta Pay to P

September 11, 2007

portable-toilets.jpgI love the columns of Susan Lampert Smith at the Wisconsin State Journal.  I think she has a very fresh perspective on much of what makes Madison–Madison.  This past weekend, her column entitled “A problem with a capital P ” was especially entertaining.

As I read her column I couldn’t help but think about the musical “Urinetown“.  This is a musical that is based on the premise that due to a water shortage the only option for the common folk is “Public Amenity” in which you have to pay to use the bathroom facilities. 

Taking a leap to Madison this coming September 22.  The aftermath of the much anticipated Wisconsonsin vs. Iowa football game brings about a similar theme.  The city, in it’s infinite wisdom, has deemed that the 14 or so beer gardens around Camp Randall and their rows and rows of Porta Potties must shut down by 10 p.m.

Let’s do the math.  The game time is 7 p.m.  It’s anticipated that there will be roughly 80,000 fans in attendance.  The average college football game lasts 3.5 hours.  That 7 p.m. + 3.5 hours+ 80,000 fans = Disaster at 10:30 p.m.!

I’m wondering how some enterprising students, those who are already renting parking spaces on their front yards, might set up a “public amenity” in their houses to charge a fee for that poor planning football fan.

What would it be worth?

UPDATE:  City Council in its Infinite Wisdom have changed their mind.  Read the story here.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. September 12, 2007 9:56 pm

    …disaster at 10:30 pm? – It all Depends.

    ..pardont he pun. I saw you post over at the Gardyn about the newpapers not matching up real good on the housing permits being issued. I noticed that too and had to think – Permits issued do not a housing boom make. Inman said today it could take years for this to shake out.

    That alone is enough to make me invest in Port-Potties.


  2. September 12, 2007 10:48 pm

    Obeo- Right you are but I’m really struggling with the press declaring all is doom and gloom. I did a market study of the South Central Wisconsin MLS yesterday and Jan-July 2006 to Jan-July 2007 the overall units sold and volume of sales is only down 6.89 percent. Yes, a decline but a crash? I don’t think so.
    Thanks for the comment.

  3. September 13, 2007 12:10 am

    It’s not doom and gloom-agreed. (But it is always nice to have a safe place to go.)Madison, I think , classifies as a bubble market. We will still decline (condos-first, unfortunately) but it will not be the steep decline people think it is. Bernanke is focused on the economy; not the investment /stock markets.

    I am thinking about getting together a bloggers meetup with some folks from Madison and Milwaukee – interested?

    wire me back!


  4. September 21, 2007 6:16 pm


    You want to retract that statement, “Bernanke is focused on the economy; not the investment /stock markets.”?

    Bernanke played right to the wall st. guys this week.

  5. October 3, 2007 8:01 pm

    ..Sorry ,this reply is a little late. I feel your pain:

    In any economic equation, there are always diminishing returns.

  6. October 3, 2007 10:52 pm

    It all worked out well. The powers that be decided that the beer gardens could allow fans to use the facilities after the game. All in all the night turned out well. Thanks for the comments.

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