Yesterday, New York City passed legislation that will require all public restrooms to have changing tables in them, marking a huge win for parents living in America’s most populated city.
The new law was championed by New York City Council member Rafael Espinal, who became aware of the lack of changing tables in men’s bathrooms when he watched a dad change his son’s diapers in the sink of a mall restroom. Upon further investigation, Espinal was surprised to find that while the majority of women’s public restrooms in NYC have a changing table, very few men’s restrooms have one, leaving dads trying to change their kids in a difficult spot.
“It was terrible to see a father changing his child’s diaper on top of a public sink where hundreds of people wash their hands after using the restroom,” Espinal told Huffington Post. “Parents should be changing their children’s diapers with a little more dignity, in a space that’s sanitary.”
With this new law, New York City is set to become the first major city in America to mandate changing tables in all public restrooms. And this legislation will not just affect parks and libraries; it means everything from movie theaters, and restaurants to coffee shops and bars will all be required to add changing tables to any bathrooms they have.
Espinal is confident that it won’t cost businesses too much to add this necessary accommodation, as installing a changing table typically only costs between $155 and $185. “It’s a low cost for a big benefit,” he said.
While American politics seem more divided than ever, everyone appears to be on the same page when it comes to making life a little more convenient for parents. Espinal says that he faced no opposition from developers or lawmakers and they were able to pass the bill with relative ease. Hopefully, New York City’s new law motivates other cities around the country to finally ensure parents never have to worry about where they will be able to change their kid’s diaper.