Restroom reopening considered at Powell, 19th Street Stations
Two underground restroom facilities, one in downtown San Francisco and one in downtown Oakland, are under consideration to be remodeled and reopened as a pilot project after being closed for over a decade due to post-9/11 safety concerns.
The new restrooms would be designed to balance safety and utility, allowing for convenient access while mitigating illegal, dangerous, or inappropriate use. The project would focus on two high-traffic stations – 19th Street Station in downtown Oakland, and Powell Street Station in downtown San Francisco.
Designs under consideration favor an open approach, relocating the sinks and hand dryers outside the restrooms and utilizing the existing space for either a stall enclosure or opaque doors with openings on the top and bottom. Also under consideration are vandal-resistant fixtures, lighting and 8 am to 10 pm hours of operation. These features would augment additional system service workers and personnel needed to monitor, clean, and repair the restrooms.
BART has long grappled with quality-of-life issues related to destructive behavior in the system, and is working to address basic needs while preventing the abuse of shared resources such as restrooms, elevators, and escalators.To that end, a partnership between BART and the City of San Francisco to provide a surface-level, attended Pit Stop restroom at 16th Street has already proven to be successful; another Pit Stop has been proposed at Civic Center Station.
The new underground restroom pilot project will go before the Board of Directors for approval this fall. If approved, construction would likely complete during spring of 2018.