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.
January 26, 1996 |
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.
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.
September 28, 1994 |
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.
June 3, 1991 |
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.
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...
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.
February 21, 1993 |
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.
August 6, 1997 |
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.
May 16, 1994 |
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.