A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from May 29, 2005
Potty Parity (Women’s Restroom Equity Bill)
The 2005 "potty parity" law declares that there should be more women's than men's restrooms because women take longer to go.

3 December 2003, Associated Press, "'Potty parity' bill in NY City Council" by Donna de La Cruz:
"Women need more restroom facilities simply because women take longer," said John F. Banzhaf III, a public interest law professor at George Washington University Law School during a telephone interview Wednesday.

Banzhaf, who was dubbed the "father of potty parity" for filing several court complaints - including the first one on the federal level - wrote recently that these legal cases show that women are standing up for their rights "even if they can't stand up while exercising those rights."
(...)
And women don't use urinals, said Banzhaf, another reason why men can zip in and zip out of restrooms.
(...)
According to Clarke, similar bills have been adopted in at least 12 states and cities like Pittsburgh and St. Paul, Minn. The uniform plumbing code and the international plumbing code require that more "elimination facilities" be provided for women than men, Banzhaf added.

In most of the states and cities with potty parity laws in place, the ratio is two women's restrooms to one men's room. The bill before the City Council follows that ratio.

26 May 2005, Associated Press, "City Council passes 'potty parity' legislation":
The Women's Restroom Equity Bill, which won unanimous support in a vote Wednesday, revises a 1984 law requiring just one women's bathroom for every men's restroom. It is meant to ease women's notoriously long waits for public restrooms.
(...)
The bill, first introduced in late 2003, would apply to arenas, auditoriums, drinking places, meeting halls, theaters, public dance halls and stadiums. Schools, restaurants, hospitals and municipals buildings would be exempt.

26 May 2005, New York Daily News, "It's a Go for 'Potty Parity'" by Frank Lombardi, pg. 2:
The current law, enacted in 1984, requires a 1-to-1 ratio.
(...)
The bill approved yesterday is a compromise version of a proposal that would have required virtually all buildings - new and old - with public rest rooms to have two facilities for women for every one designated for men.

In a deal with Mayor Bloomberg, the original potty-parity bill was flushed because of complaints over its potentially huge cost to owners of bars, restaurants and theaters and to publicly owned facilities, such as stadiums.

The bill approved yesterday, 50-to-0 with one absentee, mandates the 2-for-1 rule only for new buildings and existing ones that undergo renovations whose costs exceed 50% of the value of the building.

Posted by Barry Popik
Names/Phrases • (0) Comments • Sunday, May 29, 2005 • Permalink