Op-Ed: Let Dogs Roam in Riverside
The park's rules for when and where dogs may be off-leash are too restrictive for the many pet owners who frequent it
By Mary Foster
Upper West Side There is a story of disgruntled dog owners who feel our needs are ignored by Riverside Park. For example, dogs are not allowed off leash on the promenade during the traditional off leash hours of after 9:00 p.m. and before 9:00 a.m. In most NYC parks, including Central Park and Prospect Park in Brooklyn, dogs are allowed to be off leash everywhere (except on the reservoir path).
But for some reason in Riverside Park, the dogs are allowed off leash only from 79th-83rd Streets, 91st-95th Streets, 96th-100th Streets and from 110th-119th Streets. But not on the promenade. The reason given is because there are dog runs which should be used. But playing in a dog run versus running freely for dogs is like running on a treadmill versus running outside for people.
Finally, and perhaps most important, while the "no dogs on the promenade" rule is merely inconvenient during the day, it is potentially dangerous at night. The safest and best-lit areas of the Park are along the promenade. The other areas are dark and wooded and often have broken lights. And, the dog runs are totally unlit; as a single woman I'd rather not be stuck in an enclosed dark area in case of trouble.
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