By virtue of a serendipitous Google accident, I ran across an awesome map. Turns out our friends in Australia have an impressive map of all public access toilets in the country. You can map all the toilets near you or you can give it your trip start and end points and it will show all the toilets with travel time between them. It even comes as a mobile app.
Turns out this map is part of the National Continence Management Strategy which the government of Australia has spent over $50 million on in the last decade and has goals in public education, research, and things like the National Public Toilet Map. The website includes lots of fact sheets for the public and health care professionals and there is even a hotline and a monthly stipend for some people with continence problems.
At first I was impressed that the Australian government was willing to pitch in for people with such an embarassing and little talked about problem. The more I thought about it though, the more angry I got. I really shouldn’t be impressed that a national governement is making life better for its citizens, I should expect it. I can just imagine the inane comments from the legislature if somebody wanted to do that here in Tennessee. (Government Out Of Bathrooms) Pundits would have a field day and the Tea Party would rake in contributions from conservatives who didn’t want the governement helping “people take a leak”.
This sort of thing does eat away at my sense of exceptionalism as indoctrinated into most Americans at an early age.