Tagging toilets:access for businesses

I’ve been mapping businesses in my area, and a piece of information I like to include is whether or not they have toilets (via the toilets=yes/no tag). I also try to include toilets:access=customers when there is some restriction on access of the toilet to the public, but I wanted to get the community’s opinion on when this tag should and shouldn’t be used.

The Key:access wiki page says we should map legal access. The anemity:toilets page provides a bit of further color. But there are still many scenarios where I end up waffling on whether the toilet’s access is yes or customers. Some scenarios:

  1. A public library where anyone who walks in is welcome to use the restroom. Seems like obviously toilets:access=yes (or just won’t include the access info).

  2. A convenience store where anyone who walks in can use the restroom, and the staff makes no attempt to, or has no interest in, stopping people from doing so. Social norms in the US say it’s polite to buy something, but nobody would really have second thoughts about using the restroom without making a purchase.

  3. The same convenience store as above, but a sign posted at the entrance says “restroom for customers only.” Regardless, the staff doesn’t seem to care.

  4. A fine dining establishment with no posted sign regarding restroom access. Social norms in the US say it would be rather inappropriate to walk in in your street clothes, use the restroom, and leave.

  5. A coffee shop with a restroom that requires a key, which the staff will only provide if you buy a drink. This is the only one that’s very obviously toilets:access=customers to me, considering it’s a physical restriction (unless you’re skilled with lockpicks).

The “legal access” guideline isn’t particularly useful here, since in most US jurisdictions it isn’t strictly illegal to disobey a “restroom for customers only” sign. In theory the owner would have to note your unauthorized restroom usage and have you trespassed from the property by the police, for this sign to actually have the force of law (although I’m not a lawyer so I may be wrong about this).

I suppose one obvious solution is to simply go in to the establishment, ask to use the restroom without buying anything, and see what the staff says. But this is rather tedious when mapping large numbers of businesses, and also may depend on who’s working and whether they’re in a good mood that day.

Curious to get your thoughts on how to approach this!

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Ce sujet de discussion accompagne la publication sur https://community.openstreetmap.org/t/tagging-toilets-access-for-businesses/106900