City Worker Overcome By “Fecal Fumes” at Sara D. Roosevelt Park
A New York City Parks Department worker was “overcome be fecal fumes” at Sara D. Roosevelt Park this week and hospitalized after experiencing nausea and dizziness. The story was first reported by the blog, A Walk in the Park.
Daniel Roca, 54, arrived at work for his 8 a.m. shift (Monday) but before he even got past the second set of doors into the building he was confronted by a putrid smell. The building’s basement had been flooded with fecal matter after the adjacent public bathroom was clogged. A hoodie and other items were found jammed into the toilet which caused the plumbing to back up into the building. “It smelled so strong. I was gagging, ” the worker said. Roca said he threw up in the street from the stench while out getting masks.
We have a homeless epidemic in New York City, especially in this neighborhood. People are disturbed or addicted or simply have nowhere else to use a toilet, so they wind up using the park flower beds or (if the bathrooms are left open with no supervision) this is what happens. Parks are underfunded. They are left to volunteers and sparse staff to take care of. Every park bathroom needs an entry through a staffed building with one dedicated, paid, trained staff member hired to supervise them, and staff dedicated to each and every bathrooms’ maintenance. At least one bathroom should be available 24/7 (that particular building is the fire alarm station for the entire city, so it is staffed 24/7). The Stanton Street building, funded by the offices of Council Member Chin and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer for a $1 million renovation, needs to be returned to the community. A not-for-profit organization should be programming it so the public (even those without homes) will have access to bathrooms.