I spent a great deal of time in Prospect Park this weekend. Most dog owners were considerate of the leash laws, but many were not. One dog owner let her dog run across the road almost knocking my child off his bike. A few allowed their dogs to run over our picnic blanket.As we've observed before, the difference is that wine bottles and the people who have them don't have sharp claws and teeth and don't run at 30 mph. And while we don't condone bicyclists riding illegally, the fact is that dog owners are the only group--not bicyclists, not picnickers, not anybody else--to have in effect exclusive use of vast areas of the parks for what some would consider the best hours of the day, 365 days a year.
In the many hours I was in the park I did not see one park employee attempt to enforce the law. In fact, I observed many park employees standing (or sitting) and chatting while many park regulations were being ignored. Countless people were riding their bikes on the sidewalk or gong the wrong way on the road. People were walking in the bike lane. There were many people drinking wine and beer also.
I am not judging these actions. But, it really seamed that everybody in the park was enjoying their day without any considerations that they were doing anything wrong (or I should just say not legal).
I did not see anyone trying to hide their wine bottle or leash their dog when the police walked by.
Why should they, the police did not seem to care.
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At Caumsett State Park, prominent signs say "No Pets". It was not surprising that a scofflaw couple who nonetheless brought their German shepherd let the dog loose on the beach.