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Public Toilets

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NEWS
October 21, 1986
In the Oct. 12 article on the subject of foul scents in Philadelphia you mention that the number of public restrooms in the city has declined markedly over the last several decades. Perhaps consideration should be given to reversing this trend. During the more than two years I spent traveling all over England during World War II and in many visits back there since, I was relieved to find that almost every town provides well-marked free public conveniences that were, almost without exception, well-equipped and kept clean.
NEWS
January 26, 1996 | by Scott Flander, Daily News Staff Writer
Some of these new outdoor toilets are so big inside, you could bring in a card table and get a good poker game going. And they're so high-tech, they do everything but comb your hair. When you're inside, the doors automatically open after 20 minutes. That's a good thing, because some people might never want to come out. The city plans to install as many as 39 toilets in Center City, along South Street, and in other areas, and four models from competing companies are now on display on the south side of City Hall.
NEWS
August 23, 1994
In promoting Philadelphia as a great place to visit, city officials certainly wouldn't advertise the scarcity of public toilets downtown. But they could rely on advertising to help solve the problem. That's been the assumption, at least, for the last year or so as the Rendell administration studied ways to bring European-style toilets to the city's sidewalks. The plan was to cover the cost with revenues from free- standing advertising kiosks around the toilets. But folks have started to do the math: If a couple dozen toilets are installed with as many as four kiosks per toilet - the recommended ratio - that could leave the sidewalks hopelessly cluttered.
NEWS
September 28, 1994 | By Wanda Motley, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Rendell administration officials said yesterday they are prepared to move ahead on putting automated public toilets in Center City and other areas of the city. But there is one caveat: If Philadelphia is to have such curbside amenities, it's going to cost something - local tax dollars, more street clutter, or both. That's because providers of APTs, as industry insiders call the toilets, pay for their operation and maintenance by selling advertising, which they place on free-standing kiosks.
NEWS
June 3, 1991 | By Andrew Maykuth, Inquirer Staff Writer
Ah, New York, New York. The city with everything for everyone, all the time, anytime. Everything except . . . "Just the other day I saw someone in Grand Central Station, a young gentleman, standing at the top of the stairway, letting this great arc of water cascade down the staircase," said Joan Davidson, president of the J.M. Kaplan Fund, a philanthropic foundation. "It wasn't too pleasant. " . . . enough public toilets. So it was that Davidson and a few other public-spirited citizens recently embraced an idea that seemed to offer a solution to New York's shortage of safe, clean restrooms - a space-age, coin-operated sidewalk toilet that hoses itself down with disinfectant after each use. But they didn't count on New Yorkers' ability to complicate everything.
NEWS
September 4, 1989
Mayor Goode doesn't think Philadelphia can handle public toilets in Center City. He thinks a public toilet at, say, JFK Plaza would turn into a haven for muggers, junkies and worse - the kind of place no one in his right mind would go, no matter how bad he had to go. So the mayor's solution to the problem of street people peeing or otherwise making a mess in the flower beds downtown, on the sidewalks or in the subway concourses is to call a...
NEWS
August 7, 1989
Before heading into a City Council hearing last week - where, it turned out, he was questioned closely about what city government is doing about homeless people who use Center City as an outdoor toilet - Streets Commissioner Alexander "Pete" Hoskins ambled down a City Hall corridor to make a pit stop himself. He headed for the men's room nearest the Council chambers. And found the door locked. Mr. Hoskins' experience illustrates the very real problem that confronts people in search of a public toilet in Center City, and you don't have to be a sanitation engineer to figure out the solution.
NEWS
February 21, 1993 | By Thomas Hine, INQUIRER ARCHITECTURE CRITIC
Is America ready for public toilets on its city streets and in its parks? For at least half a century, most American cities have followed a slightly different approach: allowing their streets and public places to be used as toilets. And when facilities have been provided, they have been proven to be unmanageable, serving as centers of illegal activity and falling prey to vandals. Now, after a recent, apparently successful four-month experiment in New York, several major cities - including Philadelphia - appear to be leaning toward authorizing a form of high-tech advertiser-supported public convenience.
NEWS
August 6, 1997 | by Melanie C. Redmond, Daily News Staff Writer
Visitors to Philadelphia often feel they have to go with the flow when it comes to finding a bathroom near some tourist hotspots. This can be a problem, especially when the weather is hot and people are drinking lots of liquids. If they have children, it makes the problem even worse. When the urge hits, "we'll figure something out," said Brenda Beanblossom, 40, from Carlinville, Ill. But, she said yesterday, when the kids have to use the bathroom, a public toilet "would make it a lot easier.
NEWS
May 16, 1994 | By Larry Copeland, with reports from Inquirer wire services
GIVE HER CREDIT FOR PRACTICAL EXPERIENCE A law school senior who was told she wouldn't graduate because she failed a final exam showed school officials that she has learned something: She took them to court. Kathryn McCarty of Creighton University Law School in Omaha, Neb., filed a petition contending her professor flunked her because she is "politically incorrect" - her views often differed from her professor's. The professor said she failed because her answers on a take-home test were, ahem, too brief.
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NEWS
May 9, 2014 | BY VINNY VELLA, Daily News Staff Writer vellav@phillynews.com, 215-854-2513
DAYS AFTER a packed concert at which some people took liberties with Northern Liberties, including outdoor sex romps and widespread public urination, neighbors are getting results. The general counsel for Kushner Cos., the firm that owns the Piazza at Schmidt's, confirmed in an email that the licensing agreement between the venue and a promoter for Radio 104.5 has been terminated as of Wednesday, according to Matt Ruben, the president of the Northern Liberties Neighbors Association.
NEWS
February 8, 2013
Fixing tickets puts lives at risks While the Traffic Court scandal certainly undermines confidence in the court system ("Traffic Court tie-up," Feb. 1), too little has been said about the stated purpose of Traffic Court - to make our roads and highways safer. To let a group of drivers know that they may disobey the reasonable laws of the road with little consequence serves to make our roads unsafe for others. That means any ticket-fixing judge or official is indirectly responsible for accidents triggered by drivers who know there will be no penalty.
NEWS
November 10, 2010 | By KIRSTIN LINDERMAYER
THE PROBLEM: It happens at least 15 times a day. Sometimes 25, said Tony Gallo, a waiter at La Lupe, at 9th and Federal streets in the Italian Market. Someone wanders into the Mexican restaurant and asks not to see a menu but to use the restroom. "We want to be hospitable to everyone, but we can't," said Gallo about La Lupe's for-customers-only restroom policy. "Could you buy a bottle of water, maybe?" Gallo has seen - and heard - it all. There was the woman who told him it was against the law not to let her use the restroom.
NEWS
July 2, 2010
A list of life's imponderables and ideas for suggested improvements. WHY IS IT that the government didn't take a permanent share of rescued investment firms, banks and auto companies in exchange for the taxpayer bailout? Not just payback, not just interest, but a forever bite of future profits. Getting a slice of the pie for a financial rescue isn't socialism - it's capitalism. Why is it that . . . The U.S. doesn't end Afghan- istan's opium trade by buying up farmers' entire crop (and destroying it)
NEWS
November 18, 2009 | By WENDY RUDERMAN & BARBARA LAKER, rudermw@phillynews.com 215-854-2860
THE PORT RICHMOND of the early 1990s had working-class charm. Neighbors traded Crock-Pot recipes. They knew every kid by name. They scrubbed their steps with bleach and prettied their stoops with marigolds and mums. Then came the invasion of Robert N. Coyle Sr. Coyle, a real-estate investor who already had a stronghold in neighboring Kensington, swept into Port Richmond with fistfuls of cash. One by one, Coyle bought homes, some as cheap as $7,000, until his housing empire ballooned to hundreds of properties.
NEWS
May 10, 2008 | By Sam Wood INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
A 14-year-old South Jersey girl was charged with first-degree murder Thursday following the discovery of her newborn child in a public toilet, authorities said. The girl, who was not identified by prosecutors because of her age, allegedly gave birth to a baby boy on Sunday in a restroom at the Cumberland County Fairgrounds. The body was discovered by a cleaning crew shortly before noon the next day. As fiesta goers celebrated Cinco de Mayo outside, the Bridgeton girl delivered the child in a toilet bowl, said Ronald J. Casella, the county prosecutor.
NEWS
July 17, 2007 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
It will be one of the Street administration's last acts: awarding a 20-year contract - likely the largest in Philadelphia history - that will change the look of city streets and pump millions into the city treasury. The subject is "street furniture" and no, it's not the kitchen chairs Philadelphians put out after a snowstorm to save their parking spot. City officials are now weighing proposals from three companies to design, install and maintain - for the next two decades - hundreds of new bus shelters, newsstands, trash receptacles, public toilets and benches.
NEWS
July 11, 2003
PHILADELPHIA has a public pee-pee problem, and it's absurd. But ever try to get a business to let you use their toilet? Almost every restaurant, bar, and store in town has a large sign saying "Restrooms for Patrons Only. " It is unfair to exact the price of a drink or a to-go snack (anywhere from $2 to $5) for the privilege of urinating. What is a Philadelphian or a tourist to do when nature calls? Hold it in for an hour until they get home to Mt. Airy? Wear diapers? In France and other European countries, they have public pay toilets that self-clean.
NEWS
July 14, 2000 | by Derrick Z. Jackson
Nothing symbolizes male privilege so obviously as do men's and women's public toilets. All it takes to be reminded of this is a mere two minutes of being blocked at the door of the men's room at the New Hampshire Liquor Store. A store employee, who was taking a moment away from cheerfully ringing up chardonnay and Jim Beam to play bouncer, told us that someone was sweeping the floor. This seemed like a minor inconvenience, except that this was Sunday evening, precisely when weekenders and vacationers were heading home on southbound I-95.
NEWS
August 1, 1999 | By Peter Nicholas, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Maybe it's the heat, maybe it's the lack of a cleansing rain, but it's becoming pungently obvious that some of the city's streets are doubling as urinals. A walk outside the symbolic center of the city drives home the point in the time it takes to draw a breath. Start at the northern entrance to the City Hall courtyard and inhale. That would be the smell of urine baking in the hot sun. Head downstairs to the City Hall subway station. There it is again! The odor coupled with the all-too-common reality of people urinating in view of the dining, shopping and sightseeing public are rekindling calls for outdoor bathrooms.
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