Manhattan Parks Commissioner Bill Castro will probably be in the dog house with Lower Manhattan pet owners, as he has announced that the city will not allow dogs to run free and off-leash on the lawn in Battery Park. The reason for putting the kibosh on canines? The dogs and their waste could prevent other users from enjoying the spacious, open grass area, which is set for renovation next summer. Â The lawn at Battery Park was previously the only large and open space downtown where dogs were allowed to run off their leashes.
Despite banning dogs from the park’s grass, Castro did say that a temporary dog run will be created on one of the park’s asphalt paths. The city will provide movable barriers and mark off over 6,000 square feet of pavement where dogs would be permitted to run and play from 6 to 9 AM daily. The Downtown Dog Owners Association is attempting to fight this decision, garnering 800 signatures along with their request to use the park lawn to exercise their pups. The DDOA says dogs are also part of the local community, and that the asphalt is brutal on paws while natural grace is the perfect surface for running. Some residents also expressed confusion as to why the Parks Department allows dogs to run off-leash in other parks but not Battery Park; size was cited as the issue.
Castro, however, will continue to meet with the DDOA about this issue. The next meeting is slated for December 13.
Do you think this Battery Park ruling is unfair to dogs and dog owners?