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Some six months after the city announced that it would put Bay Ridge’s first automatic pay toilet on the 69th Street Pier, it turns out that the pier will not work for that purpose.
Brian Kieran, chairperson of Community Board 10’s Traffic & Transportation Committee, told board members gathered in the community room at Shore Hill, 9000 Shore Road, for the board’s January meeting, that the board had recently been “informed” by the city’s Department of Transportation (DOT) “that the site chosen for Bay Ridge’s first automatic pay toilet ... is not a good one due to sewer connection difficulties.”
In addition, Kieran said, DOT had asked the board for suggestions of alternate locations for the facility, one of a group being installed in the five boroughs as part of an ongoing project. The pier had previously been recommended by the board as a logical site to put one of the toilets. In early 2007, the board had also recommended siting a toilet in Leif Ericson Park, near the dust bowl.
The rationale behind the two locations was simple – both are located in areas where there is a dearth of toilet facilities to accommodate large numbers of people participating in recreational activities — in the case of the dust bowl, team sports; in the case of the pier, bicyclists, runners, walkers and anglers.
The toilet would have been the second to be installed in the city by the Spanish company Cemusa, one of 20 that the company is contracted to install and maintain in New York City over the next two decades. The company will also build and maintain 3,300 new bus shelters and 330 newsstands, providing a total of $1.4 billion in revenue to the city. The first automated toilet was installed a year ago in Madison Square Park, in Manhattan.
According to Cemusa’s website, the toilets “an automatic cleaning and disinfection system that cleans the toilet bowl and floor after each use.”
In addition, the website says that the installations are constructed of “vandalism-resistant materials and are equipped with indoor lighting, smoke alarms, fire alarms, and emergency buttons that connect immediately with emergency personnel. The units can be opened from either the inside or outside in the event of an emergency, and the occupancy detectors prevent unauthorized operations and entrances.” The automated pay toilets cost 25 cents to operate, with a time limit of 15 minutes and are planned to be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
©2009 Community Newspaper Group
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