Thursday, May 27, 2010

Dog Owner Asks To Increase Size Of Southtown Dog Run As Solution To Unleashed Dogs Running Around Roosevelt Island - Involve RIRA Says RIOC President

Image Of Southtown Dog Run

Commenting on yesterday's post concerning Roosevelt Island Public Safety Department's enforcement of law against allowing dogs to run unleashed, reader Jason wrote:
Like I've said before... a lot of this reads as hysterical to me as the "oh noes! wealthier people are invading Roosevelt Island!" despair. I should be glad that we don't have more serious things to worry about here.

Maybe it's just because I myself have witnessed such an insignificant amount of irresponsibility. Perhaps I only walk in different areas that aren't problematic. In any case, I do support fining those who don't pick up after their dogs. Hell, I'd even support using cameras to identify the perpetrators.

As to the leash laws (which, yes, I also obey)... can someone tell me the point? If there's a big, empty field, why can't a dog run on it? Who does it hurt? Squirrels and geese roam around; should we shoot them on sight? After all, NOBODY picks up their crap, ever. They urinate on the grass, do they not?

My suggestion is still to increase the size of the dog run if there's an affordable way to do it. There seems to be plenty of free space where the Southtown run is located.
Following up on Jason's suggestion, I asked Roosevelt Island Operating Corp. (RIOC) President Steve Shane:
A reader has suggested increasing the size of the Southtown Dog run as a possible solution to the problem of dogs running around unleashed.

Any thoughts on the feasibility of doing this?
Mr. Shane replied:
Any incursion into sacred park or open space brings an immediate outcry from the non dog owners. I think RIRA ought to take a poll and make a recommendation. Clearly an on balance matter. Physically, a modest increase in size would be relatively easy.
If dog owners want to increase the size of the Southtown Dog Run, Mr. Shane has advised you as to how to go about trying to do so. Of course, this would only be a temporary solution since the area occupied by the Southtown Dog Run will eventually be part of Riverwalk Buildings 7-9 when and if they ever get built.

As to who does it hurt to have dogs running around a big empty field, reader Winston comments:
These "insignificant amount[s] of irresponsibility" add up to a lot of poop. Maybe other people want to use that grass.


Unknown said...

Thanks again for the follow-up, Rick.

I'm glad to hear that expanding the fenced area is doable, even if it's temporary. I'm assuming that people with larger dogs (at least near Southtown) would have no reason to let them off-leash elsewhere if the run had more area. Larger dogs also leave more dung so I think this solution could make a lot of people happy.

The only times I've seen anyone besides a dog using the land there was when children were sledding down the incline. So long as there is enough space left for that, I don't know what others could complain about.

I still don't buy Winston's argument. I spent a lot of time on Firefighters before the No Dogs signs went up. The few times I saw dog poop were around the perimeter, outside the fence. I did, however, see a lot of bird droppings, especially in the winter. My point is that dogs left a relatively insignificant mess compared to other island critters. They also chase away these filthier creatures which occupy otherwise empty fields so I think it may be scientifically provable that dogs increase the overall cleanliness of fields :)

Just last night, I jogged past ~15 yards of sidewalk with every square inch covered in goose crap (on the southeast-most accessible part of island.)

Anyway, I don't really want to be on a "crusade", arguing about what constitutes a "significant" amount of feces even if we do get quantitative so I'll just drop (no pun intended) it.

I guess I'll try to go to an RIRA meeting and try to make sure the request is noted.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Jason in every way. I have always wanted a Great Dane or a Black Doodle but I don't get them because of reasons like these. There's plenty of space to increase the dog run or build a really cool permanent dog park somewhere on the island (if there's anywhere that can be done). I also liked the point Jason made about the other island critters. You know, I wasn't going to say anything, but now that people are complaining about my dog, I'm going to complain about the Geese. Can anyone do anything about their poop!?!?!? Besides, he's right, the dogs do help keep them off the fields. If more buildings are built on the island, it won't leave room for parks and other recreational spaces. I live on Roosevelt Island for this very reason, because there's a decent amount of green around. More buildings would be suffocating. Then people would really start to complain about dogs and pretty soon, the buildings would start banning them. This nonsense has to stop somewhere!

Dig it?

Halyna said...

Forgot to mention in the above comment that Jason and I pick up the same mutt's golden droppings :)

Anonymous said...

I like the idea of making the Dog Run bigger and I don't even own one. This would keep the dogs from running in other areas, like behind 405 Main St., unleashed and killing the grass with urine.