I was in the Peoples Republic of Santa Monica this weekend. Yes, I'm glad I don't have to live there (but I paid $50 per night in hotel taxes -- wow!) but the beach is gorgeous and the weather usually good. We were shopping down the 3rd Avenue outdoor mall and were in a fairly large (3 story) Borders Books store when we found there was no bathrooms for customers. The manager told us that it was for liability reasons.
Liability? Has it really gotten this bad, or is this just becoming the convenient excuse nowadays when any public service is not offered? I did a search and found that Santa Monica is ruthless in going after ADA access issues, so my guess is that they could not bring their bathroom into compliance in this older building for the 0.1% of customers who were handicapped so they closed it for the other 99.9%. My other guess is that it might have something to do with the huge homeless population in Santa Monica, perhaps with them having trouble barring access to them (the public restroom we finally found had a homeless man camped out in it).