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Urinal Status Display

Shows if urinals are free, in case of long lines due to stall-waiting.
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This is something I came up with while standing in line at a club tonight. This seems to be a problem especially at gay clubs where people are a little more shy and where peeking might be more likely.

Many guys are "pee shy" - in other words, they can't urinate while others are within range to take a peek at one's unmentionable appendages. Many opt to simply wait a little longer for a stall (rather than stand for fifteen minutes, tying up a urinal, and never actually getting to do their thing, and leaving in shame).

The problem is that long lines may result out of the bathroom, while urinals are wide open. People who are confident (or fearless) enough to use a urinal are often stuck waiting longer than they have to, because they're unaware that they can move ahead of the people in front of them (since they're all waiting for the stall - it often builds up to four or five people at a time).

Just outside of the men's room, or at least just outside the area where the urinals first become visible, there could be a sign that shows whether all urinals (and the stall) are occupied, and specifically which ones are free.

This would be useful if the next person in line behind all the totally pee-shy people is comfortable using a perimeter urinal, but not one that's inbetween two other in-use urinals.

Simple pressure sensors under the floor tiles, or sensors in the wall, would give the system usage data.

It would actually be inexpensive to add on a status display to urinals that already have those sensors that make the toilets flush automatically.

In any case, such a system would help a line move more efficiently, improving the experience at a club on busy nights (I many times don't like to go out on Fridays or Saturdays just because it becomes tedious to use the washroom), and eliminate the awkward "You can go ahead - a urinal is open" that those of us who are a little pee shy get used to repeating over and over again, in shame, as we wait for the one available stall to become free.

thirdrail, Aug 31 2002


       I've never seen a restroom so backed up that lines form outside. This is surprising to me.   

       Though I suppose this would be more likely with the gender concentration found in a gay club.   

       Seems the solution to me is to replace the urinals with stalls. Remove the things that some people won't use and replace them with things that everyone will use.
waugsqueke, Aug 31 2002

       Oh, an extra note... It would seem to be a natural idea to just provide larger bathrooms with more urinals... The problem is also reduced in severity in bars where there are dividers between urinals.   

       However, I guess this is probably more conducive to gay bars due to the gender concentration, gay bars are typically in hip, modern areas where there are more open-minded people. There are a minimal amount of women at most of these bars, and cities like Chicago impose rules in bars and restaurants governing a certain proportion between men's and women's rooms.   

       Because these are typically in high rent districts, space is hard to come by (and bathrooms are certainly "nonrevenue spaces"), and expanding the men's room would require also expanding the women's room, wasting valuable space in open, drinking areas.   

       So yeah, I guess this is a gay bar problem. But I think it's a damned good idea, since I've observed this problem in six gay bars in Chicago now. Regular bars, yes, don't seem to have such an issue here - in fact, you're more likely to be looked at funny if you DON'T use a urinal, while at the gay bars, everyone pretty well understands.
thirdrail, Aug 31 2002

       I was hoping this would be instant urinalysis readouts. Alcohol, psylocybin, glandular irregularities... tho I expect this idea was posted back in the heroic age.
General Washington, Aug 31 2002

       Maybe if the urinal made flattering remarks at each urination initiation, the increased self esteem and advertizing would cause them to be more popular: "whaoo...Big Daddy's back, ain't that a beaut!", "Gorgeous shaft there boy and handsome balls, too", "Wow, long *and* thick, you know you can't pee with a boner!"
FarmerJohn, Aug 31 2002

       Strategically-mounted convex lenses as inter-urinal dividers should do the trick.
hippo, Sep 01 2002

       I recall the trip to the bathroom during a intermission at a rock concert during the '80s. There was a long line at each urinal, and a shorter line at each sink, but no one was using the sinks to wash their hands.
RunVentura, Oct 17 2006

       Alternatively, wear those stain resistance pants that have a fluid repellent on them. Then go out on the dance floor and while moving around *a lot*, drain the main vein, empty the wine skin, water the great tree of life, relieve oneself, pee pee. Your pants won't look wet because they repel the urine and you won't have to go to the bathroom anymore.   

       Be sure to move to another area of the dance floor or you may slip and fall in your own urine and that would be gross.
NotTheSharpestSpoon, Oct 17 2006


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