Gender-Neutral Bathrooms Approved by Park Advisory Board

Board Votes for New Bathrooms at the Rec Center     

Palisades Recreation Center Director Erich Haas told the Park Advisory Board on October 17 that it had to make a decision about the park’s bathrooms because they need to be renovated and made handicapped accessible.

He said he preferred replacing the girls’ and boys’ bathrooms adjacent to the playground and the bathrooms inside the old gym with four gender-neutral bathrooms.

Circling the News asked what had happened to the idea of replacing the playground. When Michael Shull, general manager for L.A. Recreation and Parks, toured the Rec Center on September 5, he was told the top two projects for this park were replacing the playground and fixing the bathrooms. Neither are handicap accessible. (See Circling the News September 12 “City Rec & Parks Address Playground/Bathrooms.)

At that meeting, Shull was unsure if there was enough money for both projects, but he suggested that that if the PAB put together a plan of what it thought was most important, there would be money to start a project.

Many of the men on the board commented that when visiting youth baseball teams come to play at the park, the bathrooms are disgusting and should be fixed first.

But seven-year board member Madeline Hyman, stated, “If we put in a playground, we’ll have it for years. You put in bathrooms and they’ll be disgusting again in two years.”

“Maybe you’d want to think about an event around the playground to pump start it,” Shull said, noting the need to raise additional money for a universally accessible playground.

The playground at the Palisades Recreation Center is not handicapped accessible, but board voted to fix bathrooms first.

Last Wednesday, when Haas was reminded about the minutes from the September 5 meeting, he said that bathrooms were first priority and his understanding was that there’s not enough money to replace the playground.

If four gender-neutral bathrooms were to replace the current ones, it would mean that one person/family at a time would be able to use each bathroom. One of the baseball coaches on the board said he likes sending three or four boys as a group over to the bathroom before the game, and with stalls, there’s no waiting.

The board then voted to keep stalls in the bathrooms inside the small gym and to make the two outside bathrooms gender-neutral.

Haas was asked which fund the money will come from and he didn’t know. He was asked if it might come from the estimated $90,000 in Quimby funds that is supposed to return to the Palisades Recreation Center, and he said he didn’t think so. CTN asked him to check.

Board members suggested that perhaps a priority list for projects be reexamined and brought forward for the next meeting.

There will be a special PAB meeting on Tuesday, October 30, at 7 p.m. in the small gym to consider a motion to approve the Veterans’ Gardens project.

The Park Advisory Board operates under the Brown Act.

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2 Responses to Gender-Neutral Bathrooms Approved by Park Advisory Board

  1. Jane George says:

    The women’s bathroom inside the small gym needs attention. Upon entering the small room, there is a sink straight ahead. Close by, to the left, is a single stall door. Inside the stall, 2 toilets sit close together, side by side against the wall, as urinals do in a men’s room, no divider between. Effectively, although there are 2 toilets, only one at a time is used, as most women don’t like random strangers opening the door to enter the stall they’re using, even less while others are standing at the nearby sink. Reminds me of an old two-holer outhouse, no privacy, very strange.

  2. Merrick Hopkins says:

    When I’ve used the park restrooms, they smell horrible, and don’t look that inviting. There aren’t even ADA compliant signage for the wall and door. Though, in the large gym, those restrooms look like prison. I would think that both male restrooms in the old gym building, need new mirrors, toilets, urinals, sinks, paint, tiles, stall partitions, dividers, signage, etc. That’s my opinion for the male bathrooms at the Palisades Rec Center, since I am a male myself, and have been there many times over the years.

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