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Corona and Flushing will be among the next communities to get public pay toilets, the city Department of Transportation announced last week.
Over the next six months, Corona Plaza at National Street near Roosevelt Avenue and the Lippman Arcade will each get one of the devices as part of the Coordinated Street Furniture Franchise.
Vasantrai Gandhi, chairman of Community Board 3, which includes Corona, East Elmhurst and Jackson Heights, said making toilets available to the public would be good for the neighborhood, but local merchants are reluctant to open their own bathrooms.
"In many European countries, they have public toilet systems, coin-operated," he said. "There's nothing wrong with that."
The other two locations the city named were the 69th Street Pier and Marcus Garvey Boulevard at Broadway, both in Brooklyn.
"Restrooms are an essential part of a livable city and we will not 'stall' until we have world-class amenities and public spaces in New York," said DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan in a prepared statement.
The locations for the pay toilets are selected from suggestions provided by the community and elected officials. The 20 toilets specified in the contract will be spread across all five boroughs.
The steel and glass pay toilets clean themselves after each use and boast tamper-proof automatic doors that open from the inside.
The toilets cost 25 cents to operate, with a time limit of 15 minutes. They will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., the DOT said. An automated system controls the door and prevents unauthorized entrance. The devices are fully compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, the DOT said.
After 12 minutes of use, an acoustic alarm and red flashing lights go off for three minutes before the door opens. Once a user has left, the doors will close and the 90-second automatic cleaning cycle will begin.
During the cleaning cycle the interior surfaces of the booth are cleaned and dried.
Reach reporter Jeremy Walsh by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 154.
©2008 Community Newspaper Group
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