We can't believe it's taken so long considering how popular our green spaces are, but the Department of Parks and Recreation has finally announced the arrival of public restrooms at five different parks, one in each borough.
Specifically, as first reported by The City, New Yorkers will get to test pre-fabricated modular bathrooms called Portland Loos that have already been praised as cost-effective solutions in cities like Seattle, Boston and Portland, Oregon, where the company behind them, Madden Fabrication, is based.
The toilets are basically metal kiosks that look like newspaper stands but also feature metal slats in the hopes of discouraging folks from partaking in illicit activities in there. As a reminder, New Yorkers: public bathrooms are just meant for you to relieve yourself while walking around town.
Expect a changing table and a hand-washing station inside each loo as well.
According to The City, the proposed sites for the pilot program are Irving Square Park in Bushwick, Thomas Jefferson Park in East Harlem, Hoyt Playground in Astoria, Father Macris Park in Staten Island and Joyce Kilmer Park, right by Yankee Stadium, in the Bronx.
"We are installing Portland Loos in one park in each borough, in areas specifically chosen because they did not previously have bathrooms," Parks Department spokesperson Meghan Lalor said to The City. "This is a pilot to determine the feasibility of using this model in the future as an economical solution to building bathrooms in parks.”
Speaking of financials: although each bathroom costs about $185,000, the city has budgeted $5.3 million for the project, specifically citing the cost of installation.
"One major consideration is that these locations were intentionally chosen to bring new bathrooms to areas that didn’t have one previously, so they will require brand new utility runs to provide water and electrical service to the loos," a representative of the Department of Parks and Recreation explained via email to the New York Post. "Total cost will also include site considerations such as preparation work, laying a foundation, fencing etc."
Although the monetary aspect of the much-anticipated project is still raising eyebrows, we're excited about the fact that officials are finally doing something to help us find relieve ourselves while spending entire days at the park.