O.W.S. finds space for portable bathrooms

In an attempt to address quality-of-life issues in and around Zuccotti Park, which for the last week have been the focal point of the debate over Occupy Wall Street, the protesters on Friday announced they have found space for off-site, 24-hour bathroom use.

In a statement released by Congressman Jerrold Nadler, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, State Senator Daniel Squadron, and Councilwoman Margaret Chin, the elected officials announced that O.W.S. secured space on a loading dock connected to 52 Broadway to install three portable bathrooms. The statement also said there would be a trained security guard at the location 24-hours-a-day.

“We reiterate our call on the City to take a ‘zero-tolerance’ approach to public urination and other such behavior, and to enforce laws prohibiting excessive noise,” said the statement. “The fact that both the city and O.W.S. are making progress in addressing serious quality-of-life issues signals that there is a path for solving these and other emerging concerns. We strongly encourage the parties to continue to communicate and we ask that the park remain open and accessible for emergency personnel.”

The building at 52 Broadway is the headquarters for the United Federation of Teachers. The U.F.T. has been providing the demonstrators with storage space in their building for the last month.

The Occupy Wall Street website states that the three port-a-potties will be “maintained by a professional service” and that O.W.S. volunteers are “blanketing” Zuccotti Park, distributing fliers that direct people to the facilities.

– John Bayles