Cheering (and Jeering) New Public Toilets
March 23rd, 2006

The city has unveiled a new design for public toilets shiny, self-cleaning, and only 25 cents for 15 minutes of privacy. About 20 of the new toilets will be constructed across the city, but the exact locations have yet to be decided.

Many New Yorkers, who know the pain of not being able to find a public restroom at the right time, are cheering.

In the New York Times article, Fred Bell, the executive director at the New York Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, called the toilets “elegant and functional.”

Toby on Gothamist’s message board writes; “I have used these self cleaning loos in London and they are not bad.”

And the blogger Polis writes; “It’s about freaking time! Go to any other global city (and even a few villages in Europe) and you’ll see well-designed, contemporary street furniture instead of the overflowing trash cans that are the most interesting thing on most NYC blocks.”

Of course, New Yorkers have long devised their own ways of dealing with the problem, like using coffee shops and stores and recently, mapping out locations of restrooms on the Internet with Web sites like and

Others are more skeptical of the new pay toilets. Gawker wonders if the “toilets of tomorrow” will become the “homeless sleeping places of tomorrow night.”

For a history of the battle to build public toilets, see GothamGazette’s 2001 article.

By on March 23, 2006, 1:42 pm
In category: Environment,Gotham City,Parks,Tech | Comments Off on Cheering (and Jeering) New Public Toilets

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