We can all relate to the struggles of leaving your apartment completely fine and the second you step out the door needing a bathroom but there’s none in sight. And though we’ve compiled a list of New Yorker’s favorite public restrooms around the city, there still doesn’t seem to be enough.
Luckily, NYC’s Department of Parks and Recreation has been preparing a pilot program to install single, kiosk-style bathrooms across five city parks (one in each borough), first reported THE CITY.
However, the project doesn’t come cheap. Though each single Portland Loo toilet costs $185,000 a piece, the entire project could total up to $5.3 million. According to the New York Post, additional costs would come from preparation work, laying the foundation and other construction considerations.
The freestanding public restrooms are specifically designed to discourage criminal activity with rounded anti-graffiti wall panels, motion sensors and open grating. They have already been installed across numerous cities including Hoboken, Cincinnati, Miami, San Diego and more.
Yet, bringing them to NYC has proven to be a challenge. A sales manager from Madden Fabrication, the Portland Loo’s manufacturer, told THE CITY that NYC’s inflexible code restrictions made it the hardest location to receive approval on the portable potties.
“I built 180 of these, from Portland to Alaska to Miami, and I’ve never had this certification problem,” Evan Madden told THE CITY. “New York City has been the most difficult to have a permit approved for.”
Though the idea for prefabricated bathrooms was originally proposed by the former parks commissioner in 2019, New Yorkers won’t see the toilets in NYC parks until summer 2024, at the earliest.
According to THE CITY, the proposed parks to take part in the pilot include: Irving Square Park (Brooklyn). Thomas Jefferson Park (Manhattan), Hoyt Playground (Queens), Father Macris Park (Staten Island), and Joyce Kilmer Park (The Bronx).