Royal flush: Herald Square BID introduces public powder room

The bathroom is located right across the street from Macy’s in Herald Square Park. It’s open seven days a week from 8 a.m. – 9 p.m.

Ashley Mastronardi

Dec 22, 2023, 11:21 PM

Updated 158 days ago

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Ever been walking through New York City and had to use the bathroom? Good luck finding one. New Yorkers we spoke to say it’s nearly impossible without buying something. Local officials are trying to open more public bathrooms, and one business improvement district is part of the solution.
“I had to buy empanadas in Jackson Heights in order for him to use the bathroom. And it was a terrible, dirty bathroom,” Queens resident Priscilla Kunizaki, told News 12 New York.
She says New York City is way behind other countries when it comes to public restrooms.
“In Japan, they’re all over, they’re perfectly clean, they accommodate children, they even have little sinks for children to wash their hands,” she added.
The Herald Square Business Improvement District agrees – in response, it just unveiled a public powder room. A treasure among the hustle and bustle of the area, the BID says Herald Square sees 10,000 visitors per hour. With a tile backsplash, a full-time attendant and piped in classical music – some might say this is a royal flush.
The bathroom is located right across the street from Macy’s in Herald Square Park. It’s open seven days a week from 8 a.m. – 9 p.m.
"It’s one of the best ones I’ve ever been in actually,” tourist John Aucoin said of the new restroom.
“It allows people to stay here longer, and let’s face it - bathrooms are a basic human need, and it’s not a need that’s well met in the United States and New York at the moment,” said Marc Boddewyn, from the 34th Street Partnership.
Local lawmakers agree. They’ve introduced legislation to try to get more bathrooms built. Officials say there are about 1,400 public restrooms in New York City. And with a population of more than 8.4 million people, that’s one bathroom for every 6,000 New Yorkers. That statistic just doesn’t work for Kunizaki.
“We all have to go to the bathroom ... We are so behind, I hope that they open bathrooms all over New York. It’s such a necessity,” she said.


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