For more than a generation, bureaucracy, politics and corruption thwarted three successive New York mayors from modernizing the city’s shabby bus shelters, newsstands and public toilets.
Finally, under Michael R. Bloomberg, contracts to build new ones were signed in 2006. After court challenges to the bidding process and other hurdles were overcome, all of the 3,355 sleek bus shelters that were promised were built. So were 304 stylish newsstands.
But the third pipeline in the street furniture franchise has been irreducibly clogged. Only three public toilets have ever been installed. Which means that, at this point, one could almost graduate from a four-year college in the time it takes to install a one-seat public toilet in New York City.
If installation continues at this rate, the 20 automatic toilets for which the city sought bids fully a decade ago will be functioning by about 2065. Of course, even 20 toilets, for a city that swells to nearly 10 million with commuters on a typical weekday, would mean one such facility would serve nearly 500,000 people. Which suggests, perhaps, that the deal was not seriously intended to eliminate the scarcity in the first place.
Pointedly, the contract required up to 20 by the time the franchise expires in 2026.
Still, even if it was just an experiment, a pilot program, an afterthought or a sop to cabbies, food cart vendors and traffic agents before the proliferation of Starbucks, why has it taken nine years since Mayor Bloomberg first awarded the contract to install only three of them?
Why has it taken nine years?
if you did a comprehensive demographic study,it might conclude that it would not be feasible to build more toilets because of the limitless accessibility of the entire city to whip it out on any wall,tree on the streets,and the availability of the largest commode in the world-the subway.
there is truly no need to build these crappers on schedule.kudos to mayor funsize.
Public toilets, which I guess would be portapotties, would almost immediately become places for people to shoot dope, wash their asses, and do bad man things.
We don't need no estinking crappers.
Acceptance of public urination and defection has become New York City's new normal.
This contract was absolute shit. We should have 100 public bathrooms by now - and not even that would scratch the surface.
The contract was shit.
The bathrooms... a joke since day 1.
the newsstands... that was handing an international company a monopoly; displacing individual owners. THAT was the truly disgusting part of that contract.
How did we possibly survive without them? My god, all the poop and pee we had to find another way to get rid of.
We've never survived without them.
We've all gone into coffee shops and bought a cup of coffee we didn't want in order to use the loo.
Well - where are the coffee shops today? They're all out of business in Queens.
Outside of NYC - every supermarket, gas station and drugstore offer facilities for customers. Now we have fast food eateries that don't even have bathrooms.
I see people (well, men) pissing in public all the time - in Bowne Park, on the trees near Marino's, and in the the little green triangles.
Oh - and bonus point for the day laborers that throw bottles and plastic bags of urine from their vans as they drive by.
If I hear one more provincial asshole tell me that NYC is the greatest city in the world I'm going to fucking puke at their ignorance.
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