You simply went by means of the subway turnstiles and realized you’ve reeeealllly bought to go — and we’re not speaking about attending to your vacation spot. You most likely don’t have any selection however to metal your intestine for a half hour of profound discomfort till you end your journey and rush to the closest bathroom, which might be in a restaurant you’ve bought to beg to enter.
For a small fraction of straphangers, that all-too-common state of affairs might quickly change, as public toilets at eight subway stations will be reopened beginning next year. The system’s 100-plus bogs throughout 69 stations had been shuttered throughout COVID; the hiring of 800 new cleaners permits them to start out come again on-line, albeit painfully slowly.
Slightly than settle for this as progress, we take it as a reminder that New York Metropolis has lengthy been pitiful within the public potty division. A 2019 report by then-City Comptroller Scott Stringer pegged the variety of metropolis bathrooms open to all at 1,428, the overwhelming majority of them in parks and playgrounds. Only a few of these embody altering tables for infants or are accessible to individuals in wheelchairs. Town as an entire affords simply 16 public bogs per 100,000 residents — which implies we’re circling the drain, 93rd within the nation. And final we checked, flush-with-bathrooms Buffalo (84 per capita), Pittsburgh (86 per capita), Cincinnati (125 per capita) and Milwaukee (113 per capita) weren’t additionally attracting hundreds of thousands of vacationers yearly.
Certain, if too hardly ever tended to, public toilets can rapidly develop into disgusting cesspools. However a functioning metropolis doesn’t give up to that risk; it offers with it, by cleansing and sustaining them.
Expertise may also help. World-class metropolises have installed hundreds of advanced public toilets that disinfect themselves after each use. Mike Bloomberg’s 2006 dream of installing 20 such toilets produced a trickle of five.
A bill by Brooklyn’s Rita Joseph, set to move the Metropolis Council Thursday, would require the mayor to establish places for brand spanking new restrooms in all zip codes, a modest however essential begin. How lengthy are we supposed to carry it?