The American people have spoken and they want to go to the bathroom.
Then they want some decent food and don’t want to step in goose droppings getting to it. And after that, being Americans, they don’t want to have to walk too far to get to their car.
Oh, and do something about the rats.
These are some of the first suggestions to come in since the National Park Service asked the public for advice about a planned makeover of the National Mall in Washington. The Mall hasn’t been rehabbed for 30 years, and in that time it has grown seedy and cluttered and it has always lacked for amenities. Fewer than 100 restrooms for 25 million visitors, and the cuisine runs heavily to a spiced sausage known locally as a “half smoke.”
The public is sounding pretty sensible so far.
The Mall is one of the world’s great public spaces and its vistas of our great public buildings like the Capitol and White House and great monuments and memorials, the Washington, Lincoln and Jefferson, are the way we and the world see our capital.
The Park Service has probably gotten the point about the bathrooms, although it would probably welcome useful ideas about where to site them without further cluttering or disfiguring the Mall.
Those and other worthwhile suggestions may be sent to nps.gov/nationalmallplan. Otherwise, if you’re in embarrassing discomfort and would be hungry as well if you hadn’t lost your appetite scraping goose droppings, you’ll have only yourself to blame.