June 28, 2019 By Shane O’Brien
Public bathrooms in Sunnyside, Woodside and Long Island City are among the worst in New York City, according to a report released Thursday by the Comptroller’s office.
The report, titled Dis-comfort Stations: The Conditions and Availability of NYC Parks Bathrooms, found that 25 percent of the bathrooms at City parks in Community District 2—which covers Sunnyside, Woodside and Long Island City– were in an “unacceptable” condition.
The report, which reviewed the state of bathrooms at City parks, defined a bathroom as unacceptable if it had deficiencies such as broken toilets or sinks; damaged walls or ceilings; or broken soap dispensers.
Community District 2 ranked as the ninth worst of New York’s 59 community districts. It also ranked last of the 14 community districts in Queens.
Meanwhile, in Jackson Heights and North Corona, there are hardly any public bathrooms at City parks at all, according to the report.
Queens Community District 3, which covers Jackson Heights and North Corona, was found to have just 12 public bathrooms, equating to 7 bathrooms per 100,000 residents. The district was the eighth worst in the City on a per capita basis, according to the report.
Stringer said that the availability of public bathrooms in New York City parks was “embarrassing,” noting that the city ranked 93rd among America’s 100 largest cities in terms of availability of public bathrooms.
In total, there are just 16 bathrooms for every 100,000 residents across New York City. In St. Paul, Minn., the highest ranked city, there are 210 bathrooms at city parks for every 100,000 residents.
“Every neighborhood, including in low-to-moderate-income areas, deserves quality public spaces,” Stringer said. “NYC Parks must expand the number of bathrooms in neighborhoods in need and provide the resources to bring existing facilities up to standard.”
The report noted that 14 percent of parks are not open year round in Queens, compared to 11 percent across the City. Additionally, 67 percent of bathrooms in Queens are not ADA accessible, in line with the City figure of 69 percent.
Additionally, the report noted that 73 percent of bathrooms across the city lack changing tables for infants and toddlers. A number was not listed for Queens.
Stringer says that the City needs to increase the amount it spends on maintaining the bathrooms at City parks and that it needs to build new ones. He said that it is time for the City to come up with a comprehensive plan.