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Jamaica bathrooms reopened

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The men's and women's room at the Archer Avenue, Parsons Boulevard stop on the E, J, and Z subway lines were closed for much of the past few months due to vandalism and illegal activities, said Lawrence Reuter, the president of New York City Transit.

"The rest room is now available for use," Reuter wrote in a letter to City Councilman Archie Spigner (D-St. Albans). "Please note, however, that MTA New York City Transit has experienced significant problems in keeping it open to our customers."

Both the Police Department and New York City Transit's Division of Stations personnel will monitor the facility to curtail vandalism.

"They will clean the toilets as per schedule and perform additional work when conditions necessitate," Reuter wrote. "Our personnel have also been instructed to inform station agents when illegal activities are observed."

Last month Spigner wrote a letter to Reuter asking that rest rooms at the station be rehabilitated.

"On those occasions when it is open, the filth and obvious neglect are an outrageous insult to those who are forced by the call of nature to use this facility," wrote Spigner, referring to the Jamaica Center subway stop at Parsons Boulevard and Archer Avenue on the E, Z and J lines.

During a telephone interview Spigner said he was happy with the response he received from New York City Transit. The letter also provided a list of the subway stations in Queens which have usable rest rooms.

On the E/F lines there are rest room stations at Queens Plaza, Roosevelt Avenue, 71st Avenue, and Union Turnpike, according to NYC Transit.

The A line has a rest stop at Lefferts Boulevard and the No. 7 train has bathrooms at Woodside Avenue, Willets Point, and Main Street stations. A rest room at the No. 7 and N train stops at Queensboro Plaza is slated to open in June 2001.

Last month Spigner said that until he is forced out of office because of term limits at the end of 2001, he would fight to have clean, dependable toilets installed throughout the New York City subway system. He said other world class cities such as London have clean, almost inviting public rest rooms throughout the subway system.

On Friday when asked if he planned to pursue this further, he responded," I don't think so."

Several days a week Spigner, a former New York City bus driver, takes the E train into Manhattan to go to his office at City Hall. Despite the fact that he has a designated parking spot at City Hall, he rarely drives there.

"Parking is no problem, but the driving is a hassle," he said. "On the subway I can read, I can take a nap, I can talk to one of my constituents."

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