Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Dogs Hours at Juniper Park on Video!

Videos of dog hours at Juniper Park in Queens. Observe:

1. Dogs sitting on park benches and wandering around a sidewalk. In fact, the dogs and their owners are effectively blocking the sidewalk for anyone who doesn’t want to dodge unleashed dogs. And, as we’ve pointed out, DOPR policy seems to be, notwithstanding the rule that unleashed dogs must be under their owners’ control, if you go into a “designated area”, you’re on your own. But the benches and sidewalk here are along the park perimeter, outside the “designated area”. As is true in Prospect Park and Central Park, give unleashed dog owners a designated area and they usurp the whole park.

2. The vigorous exercise in which most of the dogs are engaged (not).

3. Dog owners standing around chatting and drinking coffee. All fine and dandy, but why do they deserve their own area, paid for by the taxpayers?

4. The large dogs in the background of one of the videos running around under no discernible control of their owners (not that the small dogs seem to be under the owners’ control).

5. Every person in these videos is white.







GMorgenstern said...

These videos show no wrong-doing at all! Yes, the dogs are playing - it may look like it's rough, but that is how dogs play. Of course the owners are standing around - what else do you expect them to do? Don't parents who take their children to the park talk to each other while they watch their kids?

Believe me, dog owners are not looking for designated off-leash areas. We want a fenced in dog park so our pets have a safe place to play. Juniper Park is a big park - surely giving us dog owners a little corner would not kill anyone. I don't play basketball, but I wouldn't dare think to ban courts in the park. A park is for the entire community - not just for certain people.

And as for the ignorant comment about all the people being white, would it be ok to have an unleashed area if there were some Asian people in the video?

credo-ny said...

You miss the point:

1.These dog owners are in essence a private club. But they’re a private club meeting on public land, in a meeting from which others are effectively excluded. We do not believe that this is an appropriate use of public land.

2.Dogs are permitted off-leash in “designated areas” only. If a dog is unleashed outside a “designated area”, the owner is breaking the law. Most of the dogs in this video are outside the “designated area”. Therefore, their owners are breaking the law.

3.Surely you would not say that that ATVs or demolition derbies should be permitted in Juniper Park on the theory that “a park is for the entire community—not for certain people.” We do not believe that unleashed dogs are any different.

4.The dog owners who fought the JPCA were and are not satisfied with “a little corner” of the park or a fenced dog run. They fought for, and got, essentially the whole park. They did not get the perimeter walk. But as the videos show, they grabbed it anyway.

5.We apologize for the necessary shorthand: we divide the world into black and white. In part this is a proxy for socioeconomic status, and in part we believe this is just the distinction off-leash advocates inside and outside the DOPR had in mind.

GMorgenstern said...

I am not disagreeing that off-leash is a good thing. In fact, I think it's a TERRIBLE idea!! I would never let my dogs be off-leash, not because of any inconvenience to park visitors, but because it is a dangerous situation for them!

If I recall during the dog park disputes, former Councilman Gallagher wanted to offer a dog run at the Keyspan site in Maspeth, or along the LIE by Crowley Park. These were unacceptable because the point of a neighborhood run is to actually have it be in the neighborhood.

As far as there being only white people in the video, Middle Village is a white, middle class neighborhood. That would explain the ethnic background of the people present. I highly doubt that someone would drive over from a different neighborhood merely to have their dog run off-leash. The dog parks that I frequent make no differentiation between the races of the dog's owners. All we are concerned about is that our dogs are having a good time.

I still don't understand why having a dog run in Juniper is an issue. The park is certainly large enough and having the dogs in an enclosed area would seem to solve everyone's problem.

credo-ny said...

JPCA is opposed to all dog runs, even fenced ones. We disagree; we are not opposed, in principle, to fenced dog runs paid for by private funds, as per DOPR policy. We take no position on whether Juniper Park should have a fenced dog run.

We know of no dog runs that exclude owners based on their race or skin color. Our point is that off-leash in New York City is an overwhelmingly white activity. We understand that the area surrounding Juniper Park is predominantly white. But the area surrounding Brooklyn's Prospect Park, our primary focus, is not, and again off-leash there is overwhelmingly white.

Anonymous said...

This is why JPCA is against dog runs. Dog Day Afternoons. Lack of maintenance makes the land unusable and the spot an eyesore.