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Thread: Public bathrooms

  1. #1
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    Public bathrooms

    Maybe it's a pet peeve, but I'm posting this under the health forum. Years ago I recall a rant by grumpy TV personality Andy Rooney about the paucity of public bathrooms. He ended with a plea for more clean accessible restrooms for the public.

    Since this issue has come to the fore again lately (Starbucks, etc.) I thought I'd start a discussion.

    For myself I've seen a great improvement in the overall accessibility of bathrooms for the wheelchair user, thanks to federal regulation. I've also witnessed Arizona's large chain of convenience stores change their store policy of "restrooms are only for employees" to opening them up to everyone, and also building new stores with spacious restrooms. And I applaud department stores like Target who have the same layout so everyone knows the restrooms are right off the main entryway and are always clean with posted contact info if there are any issues.
    At the same time I know some places are struggling with security issues; namely, keeping the homeless from using the sinks as bathing facilities and the drug addicts from using them as a space to do drugs. During a recent trip to Calif. we stopped at a fast food place to get a sandwich. It's on a busy corner, and the bathrooms were locked. I expected that, but when I asked the manager said she'd have to buzz me in, and sure enough, a loud buzzer goes off which of course alerts everyone in the building that you're about to go to the bathroom. Sheesh. Earlier in the week we went out for Chinese food and that bathroom had a numbered keypad - again, had to ask for the code which they readily gave but I'm sure the clerk gets pretty tired of having to answer that question all day long. A final stop on the way home was at a McDonalds which had bathrooms with no locks and was very clean - easy peasy.

    Bottom line is that it seems the public bathroom situation still varies quite a bit. Not sure what the solution is, but I can see where travelers are inclined to visit the same chain restaurants where there is at least an expectation of basic cleanliness and access to bathrooms.

  2. #2
    Senior Member JaneV2.0's Avatar
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    What a bracing challenge for the leaky and infirm among us!

  3. #3
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    I have a granddaughter with picky bathroom requirements...auto flusher is a no-go for her, literally!

    I've noticed when you have to ask for a key , it's still no guarantee of cleanliness. Why can't patrons behave responsibly?

    I regularly use the family/unisex restrooms. They get less traffic.

  4. #4
    Senior Member razz's Avatar
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    I do this visiting a Tim Horton donut shop everywhere I go. I am emphatic about buying something to reimburse the store for offering the service. I have seen a number of people who simply use the facilities at their convenience and leave but don't recognize or acknowledge that there is a cost that needs to be paid somehow.
    travelers are inclined to visit the same chain restaurants where there is at least an expectation of basic cleanliness and access to bathrooms.
    Gandhi: Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony .

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by lmerullo View Post
    I have a granddaughter with picky bathroom requirements...auto flusher is a no-go for her, literally!

    I've noticed when you have to ask for a key , it's still no guarantee of cleanliness. Why can't patrons behave responsibly?

    I regularly use the family/unisex restrooms. They get less traffic.
    i was sick recently. Try vomiting in a toilet when the autoflusher keeps going off in your face. Not fun!

  6. #6
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    Remembering the story about a friend from the KC Hyatt disaster. Her company was planning a business trip/meeting and the hotel claimed to be ADA compliant, yet the restrooms required a key card that could not be used by someone with mobility issues.

  7. #7
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    I liked the joke from a comedian:
    Man: Can I use your restroom?
    Store clerk: Our restrooms are for employees only.
    Man: Give me an application.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Gardenarian's Avatar
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    My town, which is a tourist destination, has 1 (one) public bathroom, with erratic hours. If you're lucky, you can hope the library (one mile away) will be open. Some shops have restrooms, but not if you look like a vagrant or just came in off the PCT (Pacific coast trail.) "For customers only."

    Unfortunately, people have taken to using the creeks/shrubs/convenient trees.
    And the City Council erected a massively ugly sculpture rather than invest in toilets. Madness.

  9. #9
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    Some cities are trying to set up supervised shooting galleries so they can help prevent drug overdoses. That might keep addicts from getting high in public restrooms.

  10. #10
    Senior Member flowerseverywhere's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yppej View Post
    Some cities are trying to set up supervised shooting galleries so they can help prevent drug overdoses. That might keep addicts from getting high in public restrooms.

    I would not not be happy if my taxpayer dollars were funding this. I can see this as the next anti-democrat, anti-liberal headline on Fox News.

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