Sam Roberts reports on the slow pace at which a Spanish company called Cemusa, working with the Department of Transportation, has been able to site and install public toilets in New York City.
Here is what has sufficed for progress so far: “The first toilet was installed in Madison Square Park early in 2008, followed by one in Corona, Queens, later that year. The third was placed in Grand Army Plaza, Brooklyn, in 2011.”
“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,” writes Roberts.
As for why it’s been so difficult to install public toilets, despite popular demand: “a number of neighborhoods have responded to the toilets with a not-in-my-backyard indifference, at best,” and “no lavatory lobby has ever materialized.”