To the Editor:
For the past nine years, the staff of the Roosevelt Island Historical Society (RIHS) Visitor Center Kiosk has welcomed thousands of visitors to our wonderful Island community, with great parks, attractions and sites.
We do have a major problem – a lack of public toilets. We are asked many times a day for the location of a toilet. There is only one and it is in the Tram station. It is over-utilized and cannot be properly maintained by the busy Tram staff.
At Southpoint Park there are restrooms but they are a long walk from either the Tram or subway to the park entrance. There are also bathrooms at the east side of Lighthouse Park. They are located in an out-of-the-way area where few can find them.
With no convenient public facilities, local businesses like Starbucks, Riverwalk Bar & Grill, Coler Hospital, the Roosevelt Island Public Library and others are being heavily relied upon. Luckily their staffs are courteous and allow tourists to use their facilities.
It is time for the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC) to install bathrooms by Firefighters Field. Every weekend there is a 5K or 10K road race and the organizers have to hire porta-sans.
We need public facilities near Blackwell Park and at Firefighters Field. The facilities at Octagon Park need to be renovated. Do we still have to send children into the bushes because there is nowhere to go?
I know this is a country where we do not discuss toilets, but it is about time that Roosevelt Island makes itself more welcoming to its visitors by not having them beg to use a bathroom.