Jan. 8, 2016 By Jackie Strawbridge
Hundreds of residents have signed a petition calling for the re-opening of a bathroom at Astoria Park that was closed last summer.
The bathroom sits within Charybdis Playground, located near the Hell Gate Bridge adjacent to Shore Boulevard. It was closed while the Parks Department worked on plumbing repairs.
Portable toilets were installed at the other end of the playground and remained throughout the summer and fall season.
The petition states, “with the start of the 2016 park-going seasons just a few months away, we are looking at the prospect of a second full year without clean, safe, and operational permanent bathrooms in the playground.”
As of Friday afternoon, more than 350 people have signed the petition.
“Our kids need this!” one petition signer wrote. “We can’t spend much time there if there are no facilities available.”
The Parks Department could not immediately be reached for questions. However, a spokesperson told the Astoria Post in October that the ongoing repairs to Astoria Park’s plumbing system is “complicated work” and that the bathroom closure “will likely last a year or more.”
Richard Khuzami, chair of Community Board 1’s Parks Committee, said that the restroom closure “is also a priority for the Community Board and we know that it needs to be done – it’s very important.”
As part of its Fiscal Year 2016 budget requests, CB 1 requested upgraded bathrooms in Astoria Park, as well as a new restroom outside of Charybdis Playground.
The only other bathroom in the park is located in the Field House near the tennis courts.