Jan. 11, 2016 By Jackie Strawbridge
The bathroom at Astoria Park that was shut last summer, which recently inspired a petition with hundreds of signatures for its repair, will not reopen until 2019, according to the Parks Department.
This bathroom sits within Charybdis Playground, located near the Hell Gate Bridge adjacent to Shore Boulevard. It was closed for the entire summer season last year due to ongoing repairs to Astoria Park’s plumbing system.
According to a Parks Department spokesperson, the bathroom will remain closed until work completes in Spring 2019.
Temporary restrooms will be provided throughout the closure. Like the Charybdis bathroom, which does not have a heating system, they will be available spring through fall.
Spokesperson Meghan Lalor said that the work involves installing a new sewer line as well as a snack bar concession for the Astoria Park pool.
When asked to elaborate on the timeline of this work, she said, “on average a capital project requires roughly three years.”
“We do apologize for any inconvenience during this important work,” Lalor added.
The Parks Department’s timeline far exceeds the reopening date that hundreds of Astoria residents are petitioning for.
As of Monday morning, more than 400 people have signed a Change.org petition calling for the bathroom to come back online this year.
“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,” the petition states. “[Charybdis] playground, specifically, is like a second home to so many of our children. The families of Astoria depend on this facility.”
Astoria residents will have the opportunity to speak directly with the Parks Department at an upcoming meeting of the Astoria Park Alliance, which Queens Parks Commissioner Dorothy Lewandowski will attend.
That meeting will take place Feb. 2 at Bohemian Hall, 29-19 24th Ave, at 7 p.m.