Need to go potty? Bill would relieve NYC businesses of fines if they let public relieve themselves in restroom

NEW YORK — New York City small businesses would have all kinds of fines forgiven if they give people off the street a free potty pass, according to a bill introduced Monday.

Currently, small-business owners can rack up fines for everything from failing to recycle to not displaying prices. Fines range from $25 to $250. Under Councilwoman Inez Barron's proposal, the fines would get waived as long as the door to the loo is open for all.

"Oh my God!" two tourists from New Hampshire said when asked about where they'd been taking care of business. "We just keep going back to our hotel."

Workers rushing to their jobs confided there are only two toilets for them: at work and at home. Some even say no coffee or water during the day to make sure they never get caught in a tight spot.

"My secret is to just hold it 'til I get home," Keyla Mendez, of Midwood, said when asked if it's easy to find a place in NYC to go pee. "No, it's not always the easiest, not always the cleanest. Stores say they don't have a bathroom, you can't use it."

But life-long New Yorker Laura Bonarrigo quipped: "You just walk into a hotel lobby like you own it."

Still, the potty plan is far from a slam dunk.

The city Department of Consumer Affairs, responsible for enforcing those fines, is not in favor. The agency argues that giving businesses relief from these fines would send the wrong message.