I've read many questions and articles on the horrific public bathrooms in the USA, where there's huge gaps in the bottom and top and even between the door on each side, so that anyone can trivially violate your privacy while doing the most private imaginable things.
I could never, ever go to a public toilet in the USA. It would be impossible for me.
I'm from Europe and I've never seen such a "US-style" public bathroom. They are always fully sealed and go all the way up to the ceiling and only have a minimal gap on the bottom, probably just to make it possible to empty a bucket of water over the floor and have it pour into each stall/unit.
I'm not asking why it's like this in the USA, because I already know:
- They want to avoid people sitting in there longer than necessary, and want to force them to go back to work (or just away) ASAP.
- It's much cheaper due to less physical material and lower construction quality. Also much more standardized so they can just fit standard booths anywhere.
- They want to avoid various sketchy people from doing drugs or "moving in" there.
- There's no concept of privacy whatsoever left in the USA. (Not meant as an insult, but just stating an observation. It's just barely better here.)
However, they could solve this by not having them be free to use. If they charged money to use the bathroom, they would be able to afford proper booths with some actual privacy. It would also automatically get rid of the people who want to just take advantage of the public utility.
Of course, having to pay money to go to the bathroom (especially if cash is going away and the only way to pay is through privacy-invasive means) is far from ideal, and actually not something I would want myself. So this is not me "suggesting" this; I'm just wondering why it's not done.
Why have these horrible toilets for free instead of sane toilets which charge a little for each use? Given that everything else in the USA costs money, why is this specific thing singled out to be free? You are expected to tip everyone all the time, but bathrooms are free... although virtually unusable unless you really need to go.
I don't understand it.