Your excellent article titled "Restroom Wars" (by Beth Ann Krier, Sept. 9) contained an error attributed to me. I would like the record corrected.
The article cites me as the source for California service station population figures. The current figure of 12,800 was accurate, but the 22,800 figure should have been for 1971, not 1981 as reported. The article also contained a typo giving the current U.S. service station population as 120,00 (sic) . The number should be 120,000.
The loss of California restrooms and service bays has been almost 50% larger than one would expect from the loss of 10,000 (43%) of our service stations. Almost half of the surviving locations are self-serve only, convenience-store or car-wash facilities, often with no restrooms, no service bays, and sometimes no public telephones. Since our vehicle population has increased, the load on the surviving service station restrooms has increased about 350% since the early 1970s, and given current trends, will nearly double again in the next few years.
Recognizing that the motorist has needs which must be met, the California service station associations jointly sponsored a bill this year which would have required all new and remodeled stations to have restrooms, a public telephone, compressed air, an air gauge and water. The bill (AB 259) sponsored by Tom Bates did not make it out of committee because of oil company opposition.