Finding a public bathroom in major cities and on transit gets harder and harder.

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Finding a public bathroom in major cities and on transit gets harder and harder.
Posted by CandOforprogress2 on Wednesday, March 07, 2018 9:28 AM

I love urban rail transit but I also am not a robot and thus human s when nature calls on line 1 you have to answer. On SEPTA regional rail there are no bathrooms on there trains and I have had to to hold it till Trenton. BART has almost no Bathrooms either. Buffalo the ride is so short its not a problem but yes I have had to go in a corner off the platform. Boston if you are woman at North Station you are high and dry because the bathrooms for women have only 2 stalls Seems that San Fran has so much of a issue that there is now a App on the smart phone for this see-

http://mochimachine.org/wasteland/#

https://www.thrillist.com/news/nation/human-wasteland-map-plots-all-of-san-franciscos-poop 

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Posted by daveklepper on Thursday, March 08, 2018 1:36 AM

Advice:

Plan to avoid hurry-calls.   Even if the need isn't immediate, take care of it just before starting any trip, at your hotel room, home, office, or whatever.

I do the same just befor sitting down for a meal with friends, sitting down in a concert hall or theater or classroom.

In any city or town there are coffee shops and restarants.  I use their facilities and generaly buy something inexpensive "to go," a bagel or donut, possibly with a cup of tea.  I would not use their facilties without buying something.

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Posted by NorthWest on Thursday, March 08, 2018 10:28 AM

Unfortunately, the public restrooms that remain are often dirty enough or vandalized enough to be basically unuseable. There is a reason why we can't have nice things.

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Posted by CandOforprogress2 on Thursday, March 08, 2018 10:30 AM

As a kid I loved going to "somebodys else bathroom". In fancy hotels they even had hand cream and mouthwash in the public hotels. Some places even had a full time washroom conceier that did everything but wipe your derrier.

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Posted by Firelock76 on Thursday, March 08, 2018 7:32 PM

I suspect the lack of public restrooms at transit stations is an attempt to prevent loitering.  Also, not having restrooms to maintain makes things a little easier on the budget.

Not saying it's right, but it's the way it is.

By the way, sometimes finding a restroom somewhere isn't that difficult.  Look for a large office building or office complex with multiple tenants.  Many of those buildings don't have individual restrooms for the tenants, but they will have them somewhere in the hallways, typically near the elevator shafts. 

How do I know?  Hey, if you've been in and out of as many office buildings as I've been in the last thirty years you learn all about these things!

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Thursday, March 08, 2018 7:57 PM

Just another reason to not like cities. 

Here in Baltimore most downtown office buildings now have tight security. No way you are just walking in off the street and using the rest room.......

Why can't we have nice things? Maybe too many of us stopped being nice people, or stopped expecting reasonable standards of behavior from other people around us?

But out here in the rural suburbs, as I motor around in my 7800 lb, 12 mpg, F250 work truck, or when I'm out with the wife in her 15 sec 1/4 mile, 360 hp, twin turbo Eccoboost FORD FLEX LIMITED, there is always a nice clean McDonalds, or Denny's, or Bob Evan's to stop at...........

This is March, correct? I have not had to go into the "city" yet this year. I make my money in the rural suburbs, and I spend it there.

Sheldon

 

    

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Posted by ROBIN LUETHE on Thursday, March 08, 2018 8:05 PM

Most of us would welcome toilets with a small charge, say 50 cents or a dollar. That would cover cleaning and supplies. And we could expect clean facilities.

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Posted by seppburgh2 on Thursday, March 08, 2018 8:41 PM
The best restroom was in the PATH station at the WTC. Always clean, always open, never a worry. The PATH police substation was located right next door. RIP WTC.
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Posted by matthewsaggie on Thursday, March 08, 2018 9:14 PM

Read a travel guide years ago with this advise for travelers, "Never stand when you can sit, never sit when you can lay down and NEVER skip a chance to use a bathroom". You never know where the next one is. It became my travel mantra. 

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Posted by CandOforprogress2 on Thursday, March 08, 2018 11:41 PM

Greyhound Stations from the 1960s had pay toliets. Matter of fact of anyone knows of a antiquie pay toliet coin slot PM me

 

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Posted by zugmann on Friday, March 09, 2018 4:14 AM

Lots of people like cities.  I mean, I'm not a huge fan, but to each their own.  To think otherwise seems silly.  Then again, so does talking about what car you drive in a post about bathrooms...?  Although flexes do kind of look like a port-a-potty on its side.

The opinions expressed here represent my own and not those of my employer or any other railroad, company, or person.

"You look as miserable as I feel all the time."

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Friday, March 09, 2018 5:29 AM

zugmann

Lots of people like cities.  I mean, I'm not a huge fan, but to each their own.  To think otherwise seems silly.  Then again, so does talking about what car you drive in a post about bathrooms...?  Although flexes do kind of look like a port-a-potty on its side.

 

The OP has a long history of being critical of the suburban and rural life styles, suggesting everyone in the US should have to live like people in Europe.

I have lived in and around the Baltimore/central Maryland area my whole life, 61 years now, 20 years of that in a very "urban" suburb of Baltimore.

The city has its place for some people, and its history is important, but those of us who choose not to live or work there are not the cause of its problems as the OP so often suggests.

I could fix a lot of the "problems" the OP talks about. First step might be a fair property tax system like Henry George and others proposed. But that would upset as many rich liberals as it would rich conservatives..........

As for the FLEX, it is by far one of the best cars on the road today in terms of comfort, performance and utility, the three things I want from a car. It is easily the best, most functional car I have owned since I owned a Checker Marathon.

You are welcome to ride around in whatever low to the ground, crampted, bouncy, underpowered little roller skate you prefer.

My wife has rheumatiod arthritis and needs easy, upright entry and exit. We have grand kids to move around, and the last FLEX saved their lives.............

 

Do SUV's guzzle gas? 
Honda Insight
2 seats x 63 mpg = 126 seat-miles per gallon
 
Ford Explorer
7 seats x 18 mpg = 126 seat miles per gallon
 
Transit Bus
35 seats x 3.6 mpg = 126 seat miles per gallon
 
My dads 69 Checker Marathon wagon - loaded with the 5 of us, our stuff and pulling our Apache camper at 65 MPH
7 seats x 18 mpg = 126 seat miles per gallon
 
2015 FORD FLEX w/Eccoboost, combined city/highway milage
7 seats x 18 mpg = 126 seat miles per gallon
 

 

YOUR MILEAGE MAY VARY

Sheldon 

    

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Posted by CandOforprogress2 on Friday, March 09, 2018 9:05 AM

OK  yes I have had to go al fresco and pee outside behind the dumpster or behind a tree and yes in a corner off the train platform. Most men have. But leaving fecal matter behind as in dumping the coal car? Seems that this is a Major Problem in San Fransisco as folks are leaving more then there heart behind in San Fransisco.

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Posted by BaltACD on Friday, March 09, 2018 5:37 PM

In times of need I look for Mickey D's.

         

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Posted by Firelock76 on Friday, March 09, 2018 9:40 PM

And if you're on the road you can always look for a Wal-Mart.  The rest rooms are usually near the front entrances, and they don't care who walks in and uses them.

The same can be said for most new supermarkets.

Now sometimes, sometimes, you can get lucky at a transit station, especially if it's a big one.  We were picking up a friend at the DC Metro station in Vienna VA and after a two-hour drive Lady Firestorm really had to use the facilities, but there were none to be found.  She asked a female transit cop if there were any "ladies rooms" nearby, and that fine officer directed her to the rest room the transit police use, "hidden in plain sight," to use a phrase.

I waited to use the facilities at the antique show were were going to.  I wish I hadn't, my eyes crossed at the, um, "aroma" in the men's room at the show! 

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Posted by BaltACD on Saturday, March 10, 2018 8:22 PM

Firelock76
I waited to use the facilities at the antique show were were going to.  I wish I hadn't, my eyes crossed at the, um, "aroma" in the men's room at the show! 

Authentic antique facility aroma!

         

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Posted by CandOforprogress2 on Saturday, March 10, 2018 10:28 PM

Thereere should be a App for this. As I get older answering the call from nature should be possible on a Smart Phone.

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Posted by Firelock76 on Sunday, March 11, 2018 11:32 AM

BaltACD
 
Firelock76
I waited to use the facilities at the antique show were were going to.  I wish I hadn't, my eyes crossed at the, um, "aroma" in the men's room at the show! 

 

Authentic antique facility aroma!

 

Yeah, I suppose if I was into outhouse collectables I'd have been impressed!

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Posted by SD70Dude on Sunday, March 11, 2018 3:57 PM

Firelock76
BaltACD
Firelock76
I waited to use the facilities at the antique show were were going to.  I wish I hadn't, my eyes crossed at the, um, "aroma" in the men's room at the show! 

Authentic antique facility aroma!

Yeah, I suppose if I was into outhouse collectables I'd have been impressed!

Did they have old magazines instead of a roll?  That would be really authentic!

Eaton's was a staple of most "outdoor establishments" across Canada for many years.  

We have a public washroom at our Museum, it is marked on the map we give to visitors and there are several signs pointing to it.  But we still have to put up "out of order" signs in all the passenger cars to remind people.

Even then, on occasion we get someone who must have been illiterate...

Greetings from Alberta

-an Articulate Malcontent

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Posted by Firelock76 on Sunday, March 11, 2018 5:33 PM

Hey 'Dude, I can understand that.  Back in the 90's on a N&W 611 excursion an old lady flushed the toilet while the train was stopped at the Appomattox station, right in front of the just de-trained excursion passengers.  GLOOOSH!!!

I thought the car hostess was going to die of embarassment!  She ran back into the car, too late at that point, and we could hear someone wailing inside "But Mother had to gooooo...!"

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Posted by daveklepper on Monday, March 12, 2018 3:05 AM

To get to the Herew U. library to use my laptop with a wideband server, the old direct 48 bus now runs just twice in the morning, usually too early for me to use for that purpose, and approx. 8:35 pm and 11:30 pm, great for my going to my apartment after a day at the Yeshiva.  But after breakfast, the choice is to hike the whole mile, witht he weight of my laptop, or walk aboug 1/ mile and board an 84, from the Mt.  of Olives Cemetery, for trip to the Amunition Hill LRT station, and then backtrack on the 34 to the University.

But recently a boarded the 84 snd was the only passenger.  The driver said:  (trans.)  I'm going to the University, not to light rail.  I said: OK with me.

The University has johns.   The light rail station does not.

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Posted by BaltACD on Monday, March 12, 2018 12:56 PM

Firelock76
Hey 'Dude, I can understand that.  Back in the 90's on a N&W 611 excursion an old lady flushed the toilet while the train was stopped at the Appomattox station, right in front of the just de-trained excursion passengers.  GLOOOSH!!!

I thought the car hostess was going to die of embarassment!  She ran back into the car, too late at that point, and we could hear someone wailing inside "But Mother had to gooooo...!"

I thought, after Amtrak was forced to go to retention toilets that all passenger cars that had toilets had to be equipped with retention equipment - including private cars that are required to have a 'AMTK' number to be operated on Amtrak.  Most all private owners do have their cars operate on Amtrak from time to time.

         

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Posted by Firelock76 on Monday, March 12, 2018 6:24 PM

BaltACD
 
Firelock76
Hey 'Dude, I can understand that.  Back in the 90's on a N&W 611 excursion an old lady flushed the toilet while the train was stopped at the Appomattox station, right in front of the just de-trained excursion passengers.  GLOOOSH!!!

I thought the car hostess was going to die of embarassment!  She ran back into the car, too late at that point, and we could hear someone wailing inside "But Mother had to gooooo...!"

 

I thought, after Amtrak was forced to go to retention toilets that all passenger cars that had toilets had to be equipped with retention equipment - including private cars that are required to have a 'AMTK' number to be operated on Amtrak.  Most all private owners do have their cars operate on Amtrak from time to time.

 

This was back in 1991 or 1992 or so, certainly before 1994 when the NS steam program was cancelled.

The consist wasn't made up of Amtrak cars, but vintage N&W cars belonging to NS and various NRHS chapters.  All original, no holding tanks. 

Possibly had the steam program lasted past 1994 the cars might have been retro-fit with holding tanks, but to my knowledge at the time none had them.

"Mothers" car certainly didn't have one!  I know!  I was there!

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Posted by 54light15 on Wednesday, March 14, 2018 9:25 AM

I recall reading in the mag, Passenger Train Journal that fishermen in the St. John's river in Florida complained about being "rained" on by the sewage coming from the Amtrak trains and that is why they installed retention toilets. The fishing was good under the bridge, apparently because of the sewage coming from the Amtrak trains. 

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Posted by Firelock76 on Thursday, March 15, 2018 7:42 PM

Don't know about you, but I wouldn't eat any fish caught under that bridge!

There was a reason Lady Firestorm's mother, a Newfoundland outport girl, wouldn't eat any bottom feeders!  She would make an exception for lobster!

I do remember that Amtrak controversy.  The bridge was well posted with "Do Not Walk On Nor Trespass Near The Bridge" signs,  but there's always some dummies who think the rules don't apply to them.  Several got splattered and sued Amtrak.  Then Amtrak president Graham Claytor threatened to cut off Amtrak service to Florida if the suit went through.

Long story short, it wasn't too long afterward the holding tank installs began.

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Posted by samfp1943 on Friday, March 16, 2018 2:44 PM

Was watching NCAA Basketball, got frustraterd watching Marshall kick around the Shockers, came in here and found this Thread. Sort of stunned that this one has not gotten itself locked up yet, based on the subject matter....Huh? 

  'Public Facilties' being what they are, and the general public being ,currently, what they are. In High School, I worked as a baggage agent for our local Trailways Bus Sation, retention tank releases by passengers in the bus station were a problem, a very, fragrant problem.     I've heard stories by railrioaders of their 'issues' in the era of pre-retention tanks on passenger equipment. Some pretty, ugly stuff!              In recent years most of my travels have been by auto, so my 'timing was my own'; old trucker's tend to be able to pick times, and places, as well. . Mischief I would guess the train crews are also adept at doing the same....

  My understanding, is that these days[ information from 'media' tales.] Most large cities have allowed, by ordenance changes;the public displays of natural functions; to take place at the individual's whim, as to the point at which they unlimber, and let fly.   The cop's are not writing tickets, and per the politicians instructions, and must look in other directions(?)   Have not been to NYC or LA or other big cities to witness these new ways of doing things, but apparently, the politicians thing they do this to getr the voter to vote for them.....Whistling  Retention tanks on AMTRAK seem like a very good idea. Embarrassed

Sam

 

 


 

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Posted by BaltACD on Friday, March 16, 2018 3:58 PM

Firelock76
Don't know about you, but I wouldn't eat any fish caught under that bridge!

There was a reason Lady Firestorm's mother, a Newfoundland outport girl, wouldn't eat any bottom feeders!  She would make an exception for lobster!

Don't all the inhabitants of both fresh and salt water -eliminate wastes and I haven't seen any special 'facilities' when watching Planet Earth and Blue Planet on BBC America.  Everything those animals 'do' does eventually filter on down to the bottom - be that a foot or 37K feet down, including the animals themselves when they die.  It's a fish eat fish world in the water!

         

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Posted by Overmod on Friday, March 16, 2018 7:29 PM

BaltACD
Don't all the inhabitants of both fresh and salt water eliminate wastes?

Yes, and many of them have various kinds of parasite or coliform load that makes subsequent consumption a decidedly unpleasant kind of crapshoot.  (Clever reference, wasn't it?)  I wouldn't want to make book that the general excremental load of a given Amtrak train did not contain biohazardous material, no matter how appealing the whole circle-of-life argument is from a PR standpoint.

Bottom feeders add some additional things to the mix, including heavy metals and a bunch of organic things (remember the fun with fat-soluble material in the Hudson River, both as 'encountered' by sturgeon and as dredged for remediation?)

I don't care for catfish unless it's farm-raised, as I can often taste the 'difference' in natural-caught fillets and I don't like it.  On the other hand, I hope I will see a resurgence in shad before I die or lose too many taste buds; I can still dimly remember my grandfather teaching me how to bone them, and they are among the tastiest of fish.

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Posted by zugmann on Friday, March 16, 2018 8:42 PM

Overmod
Yes, and many of them have various kinds of parasite or coliform load that makes subsequent consumption a decidedly unpleasant kind of crapshoot.

Wasn't that Red Lobster's slogan one summer?

The opinions expressed here represent my own and not those of my employer or any other railroad, company, or person.

"You look as miserable as I feel all the time."

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Posted by Firelock76 on Saturday, March 17, 2018 10:32 AM

Don't get me started on Red Lobster!

I had the worst case of indigestion EVER from eating at a Red Lobster 35 years ago.  I'd have KILLED to have gotten my hands on a bottle of Alka-Seltzer or Brioschi that night! 

I don't think that particular restaurant is there anymore, so if there's some of you who go to a Red Lobster on a regular basis and enjoy it don't be put off by my experience. 

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