Thousands of visitors that use a busy park may finally be able to answer the ‘call of nature’ in privacy.
A comfort station on the west side of Ferry Point Park, budgeted a decade ago and requested by the community since 1999, is finally being constructed.
According to Community Board 10 and the Friends of Ferry Point Park, 5,000 to 8,000 parkgoers visit the park’s west side during summer weekends when Queens-based soccer leagues play.
That side of the park is also home to a remote control airplane club called the Bronx Blue Angels, which flies Monday through Friday.
Work crews are currently trenching the park to install the water and waste lines.
A temporary road has been built to transport materials to the worksite.
A NYC Parks Department spokesman stated that the comfort station is on schedule to be completed in August 2017.
Kenneth Kearns, CB 10 district manager, said that the board has been fighting for a comfort station there since he first began working at the board a decade ago.
“The board has been a strong advocate for the establishment of a comfort station at Ferry Point Park west for many years,” said Kearns. “We are gratified that the city has honored its commitment and is in the process of construction.”
The project was first funded in 2007 with monies from the Croton Filtration Plant Mitigation Funds, said Dotti Poggi of the Friends of Ferry Point Park, a longtime advocate for the comfort station.
Construction on the project looked like it would begin in 2009, but for some reason, it never came to fruition, she said.
“I like to say cross your fingers, but don’t hold your breath,” she said about the process of getting the restroom constructed in the park.
It is necessary as a public heath measure, Poggi believes. She said that the wooded areas of the park are now where many visitors go to relieve themselves.
“It’s gross…in the middle of summer, the woods there are disgusting,” she said.
Not only did she charge that rain is washing feces and urine into Westchester Creek, but she is also concerned that people who are going to relieve themselves in the woods are then eating and drinking with unwashed hands.
Bronx Blue Angels member Juan Rodriguez said that the park is used seven days a week by the flying club and the soccer leagues.
“If I want to go to the men’s room, I have to go a mile down the road to Target,” said Rodriguez. He is surprised that health officials have not paid more attention to the matter.
The Bronx Blue Angels have been requesting the facility be built somewhere in the park since 1999, when they were moved to Ferry Point’s west side from the current location of the golf course on the east side of the park, he said.
Soccer leagues have provided Port-o-Sans for their members at their own cost, Rodriguez added.
The project was originally expected to cost approximately $2 million, according to published reports in the Bronx Times.