At a CB 1 meeting on Monday, Manhattan Borough Commissioner William Castro said the city was willing to install a removable 250-foot-long dog run on one of the park’s paved pathways, from 6 to 9 each morning. According to Mr. Castro, the Parks Department has installed similar dog runs in several other Manhattan parks—including Morningside Park and St. Nicholas Park, both in Harlem—where residents have requested designated off-leash areas, mostly to protect existing gardens and planted areas. This summer the Parks Department began issuing $150 tickets to dog owners, enforcing a leash policy that had long been ignored.
Lower Manhattan dog owners and their pets got a clear message from city Parks Department officials Monday night: paws off the Battery Park lawn.
Until Parks Enforcement Patrol officers cracked down on them this summer, dog owners let their pets run free on the park’s main lawn. Then the ticketing began and a group of pet owners, the Downtown Dog Owners Association, pushed for a designated period of “off-leash” time. But at a Monday Community Board 1 meeting, the Parks Department’s Manhattan Borough Commissioner, William Castro, said the city would continue to enforce its rules, according to Tribeca Trib.
“This is our position, and it’s not changing,” Castro said at the Nov. 22 meeting, adding that the department’s commissioner, Adrian Benepe, also opposed dogs on the lawn.
As a compromise, Castro said, the city was willing to install a removable 250-foot-long dog run on one of the park’s paved pathways, from 6 to 9 each morning
“Ninety-nine percent of other dog groups would jump at a chance like this, and have in the past,” Castro said. The department has installed similar dog runs in several other Manhattan parks—including Morningside Park and St. Nicholas Park, both in Harlem—where residents have requested designated off-leash areas, mostly to protect existing gardens and planted areas.
“We’ve tried to work it out to where we think it works for everyone,” Castro said. “It seems to me it’s a very reasonable compromise that’s worked in other parks in the city.”
“We all want to get to a reasonable place,” said Battery Park City resident Elizabeth Whelan, who addressed Castro on behalf of the group. “We believe that there is room for the dogs on the green space, and we think it will make the park better.”
Others said they weren’t satisfied with a paved dog run and objected to Castro calling them uncooperative. Rector Street resident Caterina DePeralta pointed out that the standard off-leash hours in parks are typically 9 p.m. to 9 a.m. She and others in her group said they were willing to yield on most point if their pets could roam on at least some section of grass.
City Won’t Bend on Off-Leash Laws on Battery Park Lawn
The Tribeca Trib - November 23, 2010 - By Matt Dunning
A Walk In The Park - October 14, 2010