11/15/2011 06:12 pm ET Updated Jan 15, 2012

Yes, Mayor Bloomberg, Occupy Has Got to Go

One obvious lesson that we can learn from Occupy Wall Street is the need for public restrooms in urban environments. For years in NYC this responsibility has been put on store owners, mostly restaurants and bars who have had to let the public use their private facilities, often begrudgingly.  

We are all accustomed to seeing the ubiquitous hand drawn signs that read: "Restrooms For Customers Only." This sign is often underlined, more to express the owner's frustration with the situation than for emphasis. The polite among us become instant customers, understanding that there are bigger battles to be had. Of course, if you are dressed properly you can often just walk in and head towards the back and someone will inevitably point and guide the way. Hotels generally have restrooms but since people know that hotels have restrooms, some of them require a room key.

What I am getting at is: NYC residents develop specific strategies for going to the bathroom while in the city. Strategies that are considered normal but really aren't. Millions of residents, millions of visitors and millions of workers means a lot of people that have to go. And going to the bathroom in a city shouldn't require a strategy. This issue, while not a primary rallying cry for the 99%, has been magnified by the Occupy movement. But the 1% has the same needs. So the urban question then becomes: if 100% of the people in the city have this need why aren't public restrooms provided?