by Lauren Gard
Fly out of the newly renovated gates in Terminal 2 of the Oakland Airport, and the stellar Bay view isn't the only thing you'll be raving about. The stalls in the new women's bathroom are gigantic! Whereas most airport bathroom stalls require travelers to stow luggage precariously near the base of a questionably clean toilet (if not in your lap), there's enough room in one of these lovelies for a small family to break bread. In fact, it's initially a bit jarring in an alternate-universe, what's-wrong-with-this-picture kind of way. After all, how often have you stepped into a commercial bathroom stall, put your luggage down, and then walked ten steps to the toilet? Okay, maybe it was five. But it felt like a mile. It was wonderful.
Port of Oakland spokeswoman Rosemary Barnes tells the Express that in undertaking the renovation, the airport "had the luxury of designing in a fair amount of space without sacrificing stall count." Within the next few weeks, she reports, a restroom renovation project for Terminal 1 will be under way. Sadly, this won't mean party-size stalls across the board, since some of the locations "simply do not have enough room to expand into increased stall size and improve stall count and circulation, which are other important space priorities." The bathrooms in the rest of Terminal 2 will eventually be tricked out as well. It's all part of a $300 million project slated to wrap up in 2008. And worth every penny.