all gender restroom

Barrio Mexican Kitchen and Bar, Seattle. Photo: Sydney Parker

The Seattle Parks and Recreation Department completed a study of Cal Anderson Park’s facilities last year, and now big changes are in the works. Plans to remodel the park’s restrooms to be all-gender, mobility-friendly spaces have been filed with the Department of Construction and Inspections, and are awaiting approval.

“It’s a wide variety of people that use the restroom, and we want them all to feel safe and welcome,” Cheryl Eastberg, project coordinator with the parks department, told Capitol Hill Seattle.

The LGBT task force that worked on the Cal Anderson Park study spoke with transgender communities in Seattle and elsewhere in order to reach an appropriate set of recommendations. The plan is for Cal Anderson Park to have four separate direct-entry restrooms with sinks and toilets that meet Americans with Disabilities Act requirements.

Improving sanitation will also be prioritized during the renovation. The current restrooms are plagued by grime and garbage, and it isn’t uncommon for drugs to be used in them. According to Capitol Hill Seattle, two other studies have made safety recommendations for the park. They will be considered based on the project’s $300,000 budget.

Construction of the new Cal Anderson Park facilities is scheduled to take place this summer. The all-gender restrooms will serve as a pilot program, and if successful will be a model for similar projects at parks throughout Seattle.

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