"America's advocate for the availability of clean, safe, well designed public restrooms"


Donations to the ARA are tax-exempt  under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code






Advocacy for the many people who hesitate to travel or who avoid outdoor activities that put them out of range of toilet facilities. The Public Restroom Initiative provides information about, and advocates for those who suffer any medical condition that causes them or a family member to frequently, or at times urgently, need to find a  toilet when away from home.  



Restroom: a facility that provides at least one toilet and lavatory fixture. 

Public Restroom: a facility that provides at least one toilet and lavatory fixture for use by the general public

Building Restrooms: toilet facilities intended for employees, customers and building visitors.

Pay Toilet: a restroom that prevents use of at least the toilet fixture unless a fee is paid or a token is supplied.

'Toilet' and 'lavatory' definitions contained in the U.S. National Consensus Plumbing Codes



Mission Statement 
Media coverage of Initiative

Who are the 'Restroom Challenged' ?
Problem Areas and Solutions
How Amenities benefit Society 
Support for public amenities can win votes

Legislation, Code and Regulation
Public Guidelines
Outdoor Specific Guidelines
Building Codes - Toilets for the Public 

General Support


Media Coverage  
Restroom Articles

Void Where Prohibited 
Restroom Locators

Portable Restroom Resources
Miscellaneous Toilet Information 

Restroom Advertising
Restrooms in Parks, along Trails and in Public Space

Restroom Advertising, offsetting cost by using 
Self Cleaning Public Toilets
Municipal Parking Restrooms 
Bicycle Commuters  

Help for the Duress Challenged
Fighting Back when denied access 

Stories and Anecdotes'

Key Books: Void Where Prohibited 

Advocates, Advisors and Supporters



Transit/Transportation Drivers 
Toilet requirements of the Building Code

As and Obstacle to Fitness/Obesity

Airline Passengers Plight

Jim Beam Workers Denied Access 
Public Heath based Regulation
Public Policy Project Plan 
Model Code 'Straw man'



Los Angeles Cnty CA - MTA.

Chicago IL - CTA

Maryland - Proposed Legislation for customer use of restrooms

New York City - Problem citizens and visitors to face finding amenities

Wash DC   
Metrorail Station Restrooms
  Wash Post on PRI
The National Mall


The Public Restroom Initiative is endorsed by the
   Digestive Disease National Coalition 



"...This really is a cause that ties into our mission word for word  in regard to patients inflicted with these diseases. It's important to let the public know there are certain situations and diseases that require people to use the restroom unexpectedly...."

Robert J. Milanchus Crohn's and Colitis Foundation The Journal V65#15  


Detroit  ...It's a major problem," said city Commissioner Dan Dwyer. "We spend a lot of time and energy promoting our downtown -- then when people get here, there's no place for them to use the bathroom. Most of our downtown events are geared toward families, and people who have small children need to be able to get to a bathroom quickly."  

The Detroit News "Visitors frustrated by lack of facilities " 3/26/02


New York City  ... In the early 1900s, the city accepted the need for public toilets in parks. ... By 1940, subway stations offered 1,676 public toilets that were inspected weekly.  But in the middle of the twentieth century, the state of the city's toilets plummeted... ...Currently, about 1,100 comfort stations are available in the city's 1,500 parks.. In the city's 468 subway stations, only 78 restrooms remain available to the public...

 Gotham Gazette "Public Toilets" 7/15/01 


Beijing [China] has 7,700 public toilets scattered in streets, resident areas and scenic spots. An official with the city administration committee said that the ultimate objective of the government is to help travelers find toilets within an 8-minute walk in business areas...

China Economic Net "Beijing opens toilets in commercial units to relieve shortage" 7/21/04


Philadelphia ... Director Goldsmith said ... restrooms are "not economically sensible," ... and "not a core service" such as public sanitation. Councilman DiCicco countered, "It IS public sanitation." Both men admitted that middle age had given them a new sense of urgency regarding urination. "At your advanced age of 57!" quipped Councilman David Cohen. "Think of it from my advanced age of 89."    ..."South Street, he said, is the city's second most visited tourist area ... "yet there are no public facilities available for all these tourists."

The Philadelphia Daily News "Potty daydreams ... Council takes aim at public-toilet issue"  3/25/04 


Long Island, NY  ...clean public toilets are clearly a better option than people using the public as a toilet.... 

Letter to Newsday "Why the fear?"   Posted 4/18/04


Chicago IL ...Merchants feel the brunt of the need. "There are always people asking where the public washrooms are on a daily basis,"... ... About once a year, village employees have explain the law to some merchants after people complain they were denied bathroom use...

Chicago Daily Herald 'At last, downtown Geneva visitors will have place to go' 8/7/03 


Multimedia Files [ large files - expect download delay] 

Power Point Presentation   [Click Screen to advance slides]  
American Urogynecologic Society 23rd Annual Scientific Meeting
 by Ingrid Nygaard M.D. Univ. of Iowa   Oct 2002 Presentation to AUGS Board  
The New Toilet Civilization  

Acknowledgement of Restroom Success
listen  Mt Vernon Town Mtg 1/31/04  
TV Coverage Metrorail Restroom Initiative
TV Coverage Metrorail Restroom Policy Change
TV Coverage Metrorail Automated Public Toilet
for broadband
TV Coverage Metrorail Automated Public Toilet
    for dial-up modem
From President George Bush listen ... we want there to be a visitor's center that's worth going into. We want the toilets to flush.... ... so that the people, when it comes to using their own park, are able to do so in a comfortable way. 
White House Office of the Press Secretary 'Strengthening and Caring for America's National Parks'  8/15/03  

Photo Gallery

Initiative Support from other Advocacy Organizations 

The Digestive Disease National Coalition
Restroom Assoc Singapore Newsletter
Item 6 - Recognition of  Initiative 
International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders
Simon Foundation for Continence
National Association For Continence

Initiative Support from Individual Advocates

Professor Ingrid Nygaard M.D. Author 'Void Where Prohibited'  
Donnica Moore MD,  President, DrDonnica.com

Laurie Couture, M.Ed.  President ChildAdvocate.org
Pearl Lewis, Founder, CCFA of Maryland and Maryland Patient Advocacy Group

Bio's and Additional Supporters


PRESENTATIONS for the Public Restroom Initiative

American Urogynecologic Society 23rd Annual Scientific Meeting
 by Ingrid Nygaard M.D. Univ. of Iowa   Oct 2002 Presentation to AUGS Board  
 [Click Screen to advance slides] 

MEDIA COVERAGE that cites the Public Restroom Initiative 

In Ventura, Issue Comes to a Head Los Angles Times April 3, 2004 
At last, downtown Geneva visitors will have place to go 
Chicago Daily Herald 8/7/03
Visitors frustrated by lack of facilities
Detroit News Mar 26 '02
If You Have to Go, Perhaps Soon You Can Go on Metro
Washington Post  1/5/03
Going Downtown
Pumper October 2002 P80
Mapping rest stops a growing art
Forever Young 7/11/02 [Canada]
Big Box stores and the lack of bathrooms downtown
Sprawl-Busters 7/14/02
Advocacy for the Availability of Public Restrooms
Dr. Donnica's News Alerts Center  9/25/2002

Stage 3 - Opening existing station restrooms 

Metro Glimpses a Flush of the Future   Washington Post  10/8/03
Metro looks at opening its restrooms
Mongomery Journal Aug 12 03
Metro's little-known amenities
  Common Denominator Jul 15 03
Empty Stalls - There's No Restroom for the weary,
  Editorial, The Journal May 28, 2003 
Metro sits tight on toilet policy
The Journal Vol 65 #101

           Stage 2 - Pilot Test of self cleaning restroom 

If You Have to Go, Perhaps Soon You Can Go on Metro Washington Post  1/5/03
No Subway Pit Stops
Video  WTTG-TV FOX5 News  !large file! 
D.C. Considers Public Subway Toilet
ABC News 1/23/03
Relief in Site
Video  WJLA-TV ABC7 
1/6/03 source:/wjla/metro0123.rm
Metro System Considers First Public Toilet
NEWS Channel 8  1/23/03
Station to Try Self-Cleaning Restroom  Washington Post
1/24/03 Pg B03
Metro examining public restrooms
  The Journal
Vol 65 #15
Metro restroom receives initial approval
The Journal
Vol 65 #16
Relief is On the Way
Connection  Newspapers
Trial-Run Toilet Planned For Metro Station
WUSA TV9  1/23/03
Metro Riders Get a Place to Go When Nature Calls
- WTOP 10/08/2003

          Stage 1 - Drumming up Public Support

Metro's Not-So-Sweet Smell of Success  Washington Post August 3, 2002; Page B01
Metro Pressured To Open Restrooms  WJLA-TV  ABC7 
Metro Passengers' Plight
Washington Post   7/6/02
Metro Asked To 'Let Our People Go
Associated Press 
  via WTOP Radio 6/7/02
Public Restrooms Divide Agencies ... 
Urban Transport News  V30#16 P124
To Ride or Not to Ride. It's Not Just a Traffic Question
   Mount Vernon Gazette 
Seeking Relief at the Metro
  Mount Vernon Voice 
Metro System Considers First Public Toilet 1/6/03  News Channel 8   [not online]


Banos publicos para la dignidad  La Nacion USA Vol XII #1055
Piden acceso a banos en Metro
   Washington Hispanic
V14#8 3/8/03


Search for a public bathroom became an odyssey humiliation The Onion V38#3
At last, relief is in sight as plush public potties open downtown
Seattle Post-Intelligencer Mar 2 '04
No Public Restroom
 Philadelphia Weekly 14 Nov 02
Reagan National Airport Diverts Plane

Meet Betty Roussos: A real person who had the condition

High Tech Bus with Restrooms
  San Diego, CA.
Jan 29 '02
The Democratic 'Potty
Washington Post Stories
dougUSA - Sorry, No Public Rest Rooms!

Urinary Incontinence:  Millions of Women Suffer In Silence

Moscow trying to flush out lack of toilets
  Russia Journal Weekly 
6 May '02
Public restrooms in sad shape
  Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Aug 26 '02

Go potty, go to jail
  World Net Daily 
Feb 15 '02
But Public Toilets seem to give Politicians the Willes 
www.nyc24.com V1 # 5
Public Toilets in New York  Gotham Gazette 15 July 01



Federal Regulations and Guidelines

FEMA "Special Events Contingency Planning"  Toilets  Pgs 39-41  Jan 4, 01
FEMA "Special Events Contingency Planning"  Full Document  
OHSA Toilets at construction jobsites  29CFR1926.51(c)
OHSA Lavatories at places of employment  29CFR1926.51(f)(3)

OHSA Standards Interpretation and Compliance Letters

OHSA Field Sanitation. - 29CFR1928.110

MSHA 30 CFR § 71.400 sanitary flush toilet facilities

White House Airline Passenger Fair Treatment Initiative

State and Local Codes

National Model Code for Building Toilet Availability 
Building Codes - Toilets for the Public
Building Codes - Toilets for the Public
Maryland 1987 Senate Bill 413  Public Use of Mercantile Toilet Facilities
Maryland 2002 Senate Bill 275  Amends SB 413  (Not adopted)
Maryland 2004 Senate Bill 304
  Amends SB 413  ( 2nd Try)
North Carolina - Number of Toilets regulation
North Carolina Administrative Code

Public Toilet Act  [RSBC 1996] Chapter 389
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Illinois Department of Public Health Citation 410 ILCS 35h 

MDPH - DCS - Memorandum on the Availability of School Restrooms

Information for Restaurant Owners Madison Department ...  {Skip to 'Restrooms'}
New York State Education Department Toilet Room Policy

NYSBA Special Committee on Administrative Adjudication

East Carolina University's 'Closed for Cleaning' Policy

Metrorail Sept 2003  Proposed Restroom Policy


Christchurch New Zealand - Public Toilets Policy Register
Eurobodalla Australia Public Toilet Policy

FEMA  Federal Emergency Management Agency
OSHA Occupational Safety & Health Administration
MSHA Mine Safety and Health Administration 
Massachusetts Department of Public Health 


Is Your Bladder Out of Control by Dr Isadore Rosenfeld  Parade 3/5/05 
Void Where Prohibited: Rest Breaks and the Right to Urinate on Company Time

Void Where Prohibited Revisited:The Trickle-Down Effect of OSHA's At-Will Bathroom-Break Regulation
(details at bottom of page)
Managing Incontinence
Managing Incontinence -- C.B. Gartley, Jameson Books 1985
Urinary Incontinence:  Millions of Women Suffer In Silence
   Donnica Moore M.D. 9/25/2002
A Survey of Public Restrooms in New York City
[PDF]  August 2002
Forced Retention of Bodily Waste: . Overlooked .. Child Maltreatment
L.A. Couture, M.Ed.
Pharmacy Today, June 1998
   '...restroom breaks'
The Infrequent Voider
Radiology May 1969 Vol 92 P1177
Using the Bathroom Is Your Right Not a Privilege! [for kids] L.A. Couture, M.Ed.© 2001
Potty Break Denied
- The Travel Critic · January 14, 2000
Port-o-paintings: Art you can really use
USA Today 06/24/2003
Evolution of the Japanese Public Restroom
  NIPPONIA No.17 June 15, 2001


       Recognize public restroom availability  as a necessary component of modern

AARP's 'Be Active for Life'
America Walks

Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now


Privy Council
- New York
Portable Sanitation Association International

Restrooms of the future

About.com Walking
Restroom Ratings


About.Com Activism for IBD and IBS
American Foundation for Urologic Disease

American Society for Microbiology - Clean Hands Campaign

American Urogynecologic Society

American Urological Association
AMWA Overactive Bladder Initiative
Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America

Digestive Disease National Coalition (DDNC)
See also DDNC Endorsement
International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders

IFFGD About Incontinence


Interstitial Cystitis Association

Interstitial Cystitis Network

National Association For Continence

National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Clearinghouse

The Simon Foundation for Continence

Stress Urinary Incontinence (SUI) Center

United Ostomy Association

Overactive Bladder Resource Centre


Continence Foundation [Australian]
Taiwan Toilet Association
Radio National transcript "Toilet Mapping"

National Continence Management Strategy
World Toilet Organization

Seoul Toilet - Clean Seoul Clean Toilet

Society of Continence Singapore

Restroom Association of the Philippines

Korea Clean Toilet Association
Japan Toilet Association 
Restroom Association of Singapore 


Global Sanitet Club (formerly known as Finland Toilet Association)  [Finish]
UK Interstitial Cystitis Support Group

The Continence Foundation

The British Toilet Association


Newsgroup Discussion and Email Feedback 

West Coast Feedback
Request to the Virginia Bicycle Federation
  (Restroom Advocacy for Bicyclists)


Link to the American Medical Women's Association (AMWA)
Overactive Bladder Initiative

Symptoms of an overactive bladder 
Most suffers fail to ask for help
Facts and figures
Myths and facts
Impact on the sufferer
Treating overactive bladder
Meet Bettye Roussos: A read person who had the condition
Article from the family urology
Overactive Bladder: Treatment means control

American Medical Women’s Association 801 N. Fairfax Street, Suite 400 Alexandria, VA 22314



Outdoor Public Toilet Quantity Calculators and Resources

FEMA "Special Events Contingency Planning"  Toilets  Pgs 39-41  Jan 4, 01 
Stanford University Portable Toilet Requirement Calculator
Don's Johns, Inc (incl Requirement Calculator) 
Blue Book of Building and Construction
(Portable Toilet Section) 
OSHA Outdoor Toilet requirements  
Porta John Systems
MarBorg Industries  

Restroom Advertising

Please follow this link 

Automatic Public Toilet (APT) Vendors

Please follow this link

Waterless Toilets

Falcon Waterfree Technologies  
Waterless No-Flush
Waterless Toilets

Miscellaneous Toilet Information  

America's Best Restroom [Survey]
Public Restroom User

Touch less Toilet Cleaning Systems

Outdoor Toilet Research and Information

Reducing Crime in Rest Areas
  From the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
Sulabh International

Beijing Tourism Bureau

High Quality Restroom Surface

american restroom initiative


American Restroom Association                                      
PO Box 65111                                                                        
Baltimore, MD 21209
202-747-6031 - Policy and Media queries 410-358-9007(FAX)

WARNING AND DISCLAIMER: The American Restroom Association (ARA) is formally incorporated in the State of Maryland and is a subsidiary of the International Paruresis Association  ARA is not qualified to provide legal advice. This web site contains non-vetted information that is un-official and for education only. There are no formal or financial agreements with any persons or entities cited. Some material is from copyrighted sources. This material is for education only and it must be source referenced.

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