Lack of comfort stations in Ferry Point Park deemed unsafe

The athletes using this soccer field in Ferry Point Park have no public restrooms in case of an emergency.
Community News Group / Steven Goodstein

Going to Ferry Point Park? Go to the bathroom before hand.

Ferry Point Park, one of the largest parks in the Bronx, is home to zero (that’s right, zero) public comfort stations forcing many of its visitors to take drastic measures by relieving themselves in the woods.

It is hard to believe that the 414-acre park, which sees between 5,000 and 8,000 visitors each week does not have one public comfort station, especially when it incorporates multiple baseball and soccer fields, bike paths and picnic areas.

Amidst these attractions, the fact that the park doesn’t have a public restroom is a dirty damper on the plans of those who venture to enjoy themselves in one of the few areas of the Bronx were urban meets rural. As a result, the park’s woods have become a giant septic tank.

“Having an accessible public comfort station is a basic necessity and need of any human being, and the inability of having at least one comfort station in this park is jeopardizing our health and safety” said Friends of Ferry Point Park member Dotti Poggi, who is disgusted that her neighborhood park has become an unsanitary ‘free-pee’ and ‘poop-stoop’ zone.

“On multiple occasions, I’ve witnessed young girls go into the woods at the same time drunken men go into the woods and pull their pants down. It’s not right, to say the least.”

Amazingly, that is the least of it.

According to Poggi, the NYC Parks Department still issues permits to baseball, softball and soccer teams to use the fields, which means that all of those people have no bathroom facility. Ferry Point Park also has no running water, so visitors who use the woods as a bathroom are forced to wash their hands with bottled water.

“Organizations and schools that rely on Ferry Point Park for sporting events are embarrassed to bring competition to a park that doesn’t have comfort stations,” said Poggi.

Make no mistake – Ferry Point Park has made many improvements and strides since its landfill days several decades ago. However, in comparison to the improvements and renovations of other Bronx parks such as Pelham Bay Park and Van Cortlandt Park, which each have numerous restrooms for the public, Ferry Point Park still has a long ways to go in terms of providing a basic need for its users.

“We, the people of Throggs Neck, have been waiting on a solution to this problem for 15 to 20 years,” said head of Parks Committee Virginia Gallagher. “The plan to put comfort stations in Ferry Point Park has continuously been pushed back, and we need this plan to finally happen to permanently solve the problem at hand.”

Reach Reporter Steven Goodstein at (718) 742–3384. E-mail him at sgood‌stein‌@cngl‌ocal.com.

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