Sound of music coming from GJ restroom has creative purpose

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GRAND JUNCTION - For a lot of people out there, the thought of using a public restroom is tough enough. So imagine walking into a Grand Junction restroom, and hearing music right out of an episode of Barney & Friends?

Much to your annoyance.

But songs like "Skip to my Lou" and "If You're Happy and You Know It" aren't meant to give you added irritation while having to go. Instead the goal is to make the bathrooms an obnoxious place for those using them for other purposes.

"Over the years we've had vandalism or people staying inside the restrooms to get out of the weather," said Rob Schoeber, Director Grand Junction Parks & Recreation.

So two weeks ago, the city began piping kids songs through the vents to keep troublesome folks out, and let those who really need it, do their duty.

The idea follows a law enforcement model called CPTED (Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design)," Schoeber said. "The music was picked by our staff, they came up with it to make it less inducive for people to sleep in there."

And so far, the grating tunes along with improved lighting has been a success.

"We've found fewer people in there," Schoeber said. No surprises of people staying in there for long periods of time."

But what do the intended targets think of it?

"(The Homeless) is the new civil war," said Douglas Whitcomb, a homeless activist. "If they didn't treat it as a problem the solutions would become better because they hate the homeless what they represent."

Schoeber said people in town have so far found the humor in it, and understand the greater goals.

So don't be surprised when YOU enter the lavatory, and come out humming a few tunes.