Governments' Lighter Side

New York City: a great place to go

It’s a red-letter day for New York City. Despite bureaucracy, corruption and countless court cases, after nine years of hard work and planning, three public toilets have been constructed.
 
Clearly it's time to bust out the champagne.
 
In 2006, under former Mayor Michael Bloomberg, contracts to build new bus shelters, newsstands and public toilets were finally signed after decades of hurdles to the bidding processes. According to The New York Times, since that time, 3,355 new bus shelters were constructed and 304 new newsstands were opened for business.
 
As for the toilets? Not so many. At this rate, the 20 facilities for which the city took bids a decade ago will come online around 2065, according to The New York Times.
 
So why have public toilets been so slighted in the Big Apple? Well, for one, there’s no money in them. The New York Times reports that unlike bus shelters and newsstands, toilets generate no revenue or material benefit for the city.
 
But that could change. According to The New York Post, a new company is looking to build exclusive “luxury” toilet complexes in Midtown Manhattan.
 
Passes for the swanky johns would cost $24 dollars for three days, with a $15 annual sign-up fee. Long-term 10-day plans could be purchased for $60. The New York Post reports the restrooms will be soundproof, featuring wooden floors and motion activated flushers and faucets.
 
So are privatized privys really the answer? Douglas Lasdon, of the Urban Justice Center doesn’t think so, and told The New York Post the 8-dollar-a-day price is a little steep, and that the city should be the one providing residents with facilities.
 
But Wayne Parks, founder of Posh Stow and Go, the company behind the pay-to-go facilities, says they are just what the city needs encourage tourism and help residents find a little relief.

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What's Governments' Lighter Side?

It is an irreverent take on local and state government news.

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Derek Prall

Derek Prall is a professional journalist who has held numerous positions with a variety of print and online publications including The Public Manager magazine and the New Jersey Herald. He is a 2008...
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