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July 22, 2005 12:03 AM

Broken: Restroom design in fancy NYC restaurants

Kris Arnold points us to this NYTimes article from a few months back:

I couldn't figure out how to trigger the electronic-eye sensors above the commodes, motion-detecting flushing mechanisms with enough of a delay that you were sometimes asked simply to trust in a cleansing aftermath to your departure. I've encountered religions with less daunting leaps of faith.
I couldn't figure out how to tell whether commodes were occupied. Neither, apparently, could anyone else, because whenever I was using one, someone in the communal area would rattle the door, not to mention my composure.... And I couldn't figure out why, in restaurant after restaurant, the attempt to relieve oneself turned out to be anything but a relief.

Link to full story

(Also see megnut's response)


_@_v - oh, poo!

Posted by: shesnailie_@_v at July 22, 2005 12:59 AM

the toilet wont flush

Posted by: unknown at July 22, 2005 01:26 AM

try leaning over and looking for feet perhaps?

Whats with all the synidcated stuff as of recently mark, there all sorta sub-par...

Posted by: Vic at July 22, 2005 02:25 AM

oh no i went and took a piss and it wont flush! what am i to do now? oh boo hoo! big freakin deal, who cares if it flushed anyways, i sure as hell dont! the only thing i like is the touchless paper towel dispenser, now thats freakin cool! and it doesnt take a rocket scientist to figure out how to wave under the water faucet either...

Posted by: pee on seat at July 22, 2005 03:43 AM

> someone in the communal area would rattle the door, not to mention my composure

Lovely zeugma.


Posted by: DJM at July 22, 2005 05:17 AM

It seems to me like bathrooms and getting less and less private in the US and it irritates me. When I visited Europe the restroom stalls were alll individual rooms, not some 4-foot partition. The worst was at an amusement park, I think Cedar Point in Ohio, where the top of the stalls are no more than 5 feet tall. When walking in I could clearly see over everything as I am 6'2.

Posted by: Michael at July 22, 2005 11:46 AM

How long before someone has an 'accident' resulting from their inability to locate one of those hidden restrooms and then sues the proprietor?

DJM, thanks for 'zeugma', that'll be my 'Word of the Day' for today.


Posted by: PatheticPeripatetic at July 22, 2005 10:30 PM

Erm... I don't really see how that's broken.

Posted by: Fayth at July 23, 2005 12:05 AM

Stall doors are usually designed in a way that the doors do not shut completely unless they are locked. If they do shut completely without being locked check for feet as mentioned before.

Not flushing? The establishment is required by law to have an employee routinely inspect the restroom. Normally no fewer than every two hours If the sensor had stop working it would be apparent or if a patron notices that the sensor is not operational it should be brought to an employees attention. Of course the sensor automatic flush is more sanitary than a hand flush, which would be the only foreseeable alternative.

Posted by: tool at July 23, 2005 05:46 AM

Isn't there some little button you can push to just make it flush?

Posted by: Bob at July 25, 2005 08:36 AM

While the button exists on some models, I have occasionally searched in vain for the button on models without it.

Posted by: Sean P at July 25, 2005 10:32 AM

Ughhh. They should all include buttons.

What's broken here is things that are so 'advanced' that they don't work correctly.

Posted by: Bob at July 25, 2005 08:12 PM

I had the same problem at an airport restroom: no matter how hard I tried I couldn't get the toilet to flush! There wasn't any button, and eventually I was forced to leave the toilet unflushed. ALL AUTOMATIC TOILETS SHOULD HAVE BUTTONS TO PRESS!! Now THAT would make life easier.

Posted by: blankblank at July 28, 2005 10:15 AM

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