Moscow explores public gender-neutral restrooms

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Certain city-owned restrooms could become gender-neutral facilities in Moscow.

City staff conducted preliminary research to determine the potential for converting its restrooms to gender-neutral bathrooms where feasible after the city received inquiries and encouragement from residents and the Moscow Human Rights Commission, Jen Pfiffner, deputy city supervisor of culture, recreation and employee services, told the Moscow City Council Administrative Committee on Monday.

Pfiffner said about half, or 49 percent, of Moscow’s restroom facilities would simply need a lock or sign change to make them gender-neutral, or restrooms any gender could use, and 16 percent are portable restrooms at parks.

Twenty-nine percent of its restroom facilities could be fitted for a blended option of gender-specific and gender-neutral. For example, Pfiffner said City Hall’s second floor restrooms — where the council chambers are located — could be converted to gender-neutral and the first and third floors could remain gender-specific, or designated for either men or women.

She said the last 5 percent, or restrooms at Friendship Square, Mountain View Park and the Intermodal Transit Center, would require considerable more planning to convert to gender-neutral.

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