RINGWOOD, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--More than three quarters of Americans (76%) have one or more complaints about public restrooms according to The Trending Machine national poll conducted August 8th through 14th, 2013. When it comes to public restrooms our biggest pet peeves stem from other people’s bad behavior; respondents’ chief complaints were wet seats and stall floors (44%), as well as germy door handles (43%).
“Universally designed toilet facilities enable all people to enjoy broader social interaction. One should be able to ask, “Where should I meet you?’ and not, “I wonder what the toilet facilities are like there.”
In addition to these public health concerns, facility managers should also take note that a lack of supplies (toilet paper, soap, towels) was a common concern for nearly two out of five adults (38%). From a privacy perspective, fully one quarter of adults report issues relating to stall doors not closing.
Restroom design complaints were less common and centered on lack of ventilation (21%), no place to hang a purse or jacket (20%), problems with automatic water faucets and hand dryers (17%), problems with flushers (16%), and toilet seat height (11%).
Women are much more likely to find fault with public restrooms than men (85% vs. 67% respectively). Whether it’s wet seats (52% vs. 35% among men), germy door handles (46% vs. 39%) or lack of supplies (46% vs. 29%), doors that don’t close (34% vs. 17%) and no place to hang a purse / jacket (30% vs. 10%), it’s evident that women’s needs in particular are not being met.
According to the AIA (the American Institute of Architects), the most important design criteria for public restrooms are public health, privacy, safety, and welfare issues. Yet, as evidenced by this survey, US public restrooms are sorely lacking. The challenge for designing more desirable public restrooms is even more acute when considering the needs of families with young children and people with disabilities. John Salmen, President of Universal Designers & Consultants says “Universally designed toilet facilities enable all people to enjoy broader social interaction. One should be able to ask, “Where should I meet you?’ and not, “I wonder what the toilet facilities are like there.”
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