Locals demand city reopen Manhattan Beach park bathroom

Locals demand city reopen Manhattan Beach park bathroom
Photo by Erin Lefevre

They can’t wait to go!

The city has to hop to it and reopen a shuttered bathroom in Manhattan Beach Park that it promised would be available by August for the park-goers and youngsters who haven’t had a place to answer nature’s call for months, locals charge.

“The bathroom is still not completed,” said Allan Rosen, who lives just a stone’s throw from the Oriental Boulevard park, also called Pat Perlato Playground. “I don’t know what the story is, why they told us August, and it’s already the end of October.”

Workers broke ground in the spring to gussy up the basketball and handball courts in the playground near Falmouth Street — but all of the construction equipment blocked the entrance to the men’s toilet, forcing the Parks Department to close it a few months ago, according to a spokeswoman for the agency. It should be back up and running by Thanksgiving, and in the meantime, Parks has placed an order for port-a-potties, she said.

But the Parks Department just compounded the problem recently by locking the doors to the nearby Manhattan Beach comfort station along the waterfront promenade for the upcoming winter season, saying the bathroom’s pipes would otherwise freeze during the colder months. There may not be many swimmers on the beach who need to relieve themselves, but if people can’t use the toilet in the park, then they’re out of luck, said Rosen.

“Not only is the bathroom work not finished — it was supposed to be done in August — but the bathrooms on the promenade are not even open,” he said. “What are these people supposed to do without any bathroom on the beach and in the park? Something needs to be done about that.”

Making matters even more frustrating, the reason the playground’s bathrooms are closed my not even have anything to do with necessary repairs. Community Board 15 chairwoman Theresa Scavo said that Parks told her the bathrooms had to be closed because construction workers busted a water pipe — which a department spokeswoman initially confirmed. But later the Parks rep said backpedaled and said the only reason the bathrooms have been closed all this time is that they’re blocked by construction equipment.

The work on the playground’s basketball and handball courts is expected to be completed by spring 2018.

Reach reporter Julianne Cuba at (718) 260–4577 or by e-mail at jcuba@cnglocal.com. Follow her on Twitter @julcuba.