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Why Can’t We Have Decent Toilet Stalls?

Many places in Europe have public restrooms in which the stalls are complete rooms unto themselves, offering enough privacy that they don't even need to be separated by sex. In contrast, restroom stalls in the US are designed to discourage people from using them.  

In America, our toilet stalls are awful. The flimsy partitions start at least a foot off the ground, don’t go anywhere near the ceiling, and fail to block the reality that we’re pooping and peeing right next to each other. Sometimes, these stalls are so shoddily constructed that there is a gap at the edge of the door through which a toilet sitter and someone outside the stall can make eye contact.

Why is that? Because in America, public toilets are designed for the people who own them, not the people who use them. That could be an analogy for many differences between America and the European Union, but that's an argument for another day. The various reasons for user-unfriendly American restrooms are detailed at Slate. -via Digg

(Image credit: Natalie Matthews-Ramo)


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Use a public toilet in Asia, and you will never again complain about American toilets. In China, there's no such thing a door stall, you have to bring your own toilet paper, and the 'toilet' is often just a trench in the floor, so you can see the piles left by everyone there before you; the trenches might get flushed out once a year, whenever a health inspector comes by to check.
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I agree with all of this - I never understand why american restaurant stalls were so awfully constructed. Especially the male ones. At our restaurant there's a half-height wall between two urinals, and one of the urinals is literally right next to the sink and a giant mirror. Like what kinda cave people put together these bathrooms I have no idea.
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