When you gotta go, where do you go? Too often in New York, no one knows — because too many public bathrooms are a no-go.
For years, the city that never sleeps has been plagued by a significant lack of open and free restrooms, something that became painfully apparent during the COVID-19 pandemic’s quarantine period. It is not uncommon to see transit bathrooms with thick chains wrapped around them or park lavatories completely shuttered or in an unsanitary state, leaving both native New Yorkers and tourists without a place to relieve themselves unless they shell out significantly more than that by visiting local restaurants or cafés.
Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine and Council Member Rita Joseph told amNewYork Metro that they are looking to open public restrooms back up in the Big Apple with new proposed legislation.
While New York has many attractions, restrooms are not one. According to “Dis-comfort Stations: The Conditions and Availability of NYC Parks Bathrooms,” a 2019 report by then-Comptroller Scott Stringer, New York City ranks 93rd out of the 100 largest U.S. cities in the number of public bathrooms per capita.