Though ubiquitous, toilets aren’t available to everyone, and that should change

Published in Boston Globe

Pam Richardson never thought much about public bathrooms until she started driving for a rideshare company in Seattle. Now, they’re always on her mind.

“Places where you would expect to be able to use the bathroom, they’re locked, or for employees only, or you have to be a customer,” she says. “In downtown Seattle, I can’t think of any place where there’s not a code or a key.”

Richardson recently contracted a urinary tract infection, and a urologist diagnosed her with an overactive bladder, both conditions exacerbated by holding for too long. Her take-home pay has taken a hit because she’s forced to spend money at fast food restaurants in order to use the facilities, and on more than one occasion an accident has forced her to return home for clean clothes.

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