Moving slower than frozen molasses per usual, a plan BART announced a year ago to possibly reopen some underground restrooms that have been closed over safety concerns since September 11th 2001 is still moving forward. BART issued an announcement Thursday, updating us on the project, which now apparently will only focus on two restrooms in the BART system in high-traffic stations, Powell Street Station, and 19th Street Station in downtown Oakland. BART explains, "The new restrooms would be designed to balance safety and utility, allowing for convenient access while mitigating illegal, dangerous, or inappropriate use."
But this design task is apparently a big one that will be tied up in BART bureaucracy for a while, because they're estimating completion of construction on the new restrooms will be in spring 2018.
Is it really that hard, guys?
Here's the rest:
Designs under consideration favor an open approach, relocating the sinks and hand dryers outside the restrooms and utilizing the existing space for either a stall enclosure or opaque doors with openings on the top and bottom. Also under consideration are vandal-resistant fixtures, lighting and 8 am to 10 pm hours of operation. These features would augment additional system service workers and personnel needed to monitor, clean, and repair the restrooms.
BART has long grappled with quality-of-life issues related to destructive behavior in the system, and is working to address basic needs while preventing the abuse of shared resources such as restrooms, elevators, and escalators. To that end, a partnership between BART and the City of San Francisco to provide a surface-level, attended Pit Stop restroom at 16th Street has already proven to be successful; another Pit Stop has been proposed at Civic Center Station.
More restrooms may follow, but first this pilot project has to get approved and finished, which starts with an approval from the BART board this fall.
Previously: BART May Finally Reopen Public Restrooms Shut Since 9/11