OPINION: Not going to the dogs on Gansevoort, Pr. 40

BY LYNN PACIFICO | When I took the Gansevoort Peninsula survey, I was perplexed since nine out of 10 of the schematics we did at the Gansevoort design charrette included a dog run. But a dog run was not included as an option in the online survey — not mentioned anywhere.

The survey asks what we do in the park and lists a few options, but nothing to do with dogs — the largest single-user group of parks in New York City. In the “other” option, I put “dog walking”; but when I went over the survey before submitting it, my answer to that question had been changed to “walking” — “dog” having somehow been left out. I wrote to the field operations responsible for the survey about this but have not heard back.

Lynn Pacifico’s dog lying quietly on the floor at a meeting on plans for Gansevoort Peninsula. (Photo by Lincoln Anderson)

A dog run also wasn’t included in the charrette feedback information we received at the May Community Board 2 Parks Committee meeting. Shouldn’t it be that the community spoke and it wants four things with the dog run included? Why was a dog run excluded everywhere?

No wonder I was told that not many dog owners answered the Pier 40 survey — it was also rigged. When I asked why a dog run wasn’t included for Pier 40, the rep from “Pier 40 for All” (an inaccurate name!) suggested that I rally the dog owners.

For 25 years, the dog community has lobbied, gone to countless meetings, gathering thousands of names on petitions, and won 16 resolutions in support from C.B. 2 and local elected officials. I am so disillusioned with this community process that I no longer rally dog owners for anything, but continue alone. Why waste anyone else’s time? This is a dog (not) and pony show and would be a joke if it wasn’t for the fact that taxpaying dog owners continue to be left out.

The youth-league sports people keep harping on how they are building community, but it doesn’t seem to matter that the community of dog owners that used J.J. Walker Field was destroyed when we were locked out of that field. When passing the field and asking where the players are from, half the time I’m told they are from outside of our community.

Dogs are a field sport: How do you play Frisbee with them at the Leroy St. run? Not only does the Leroy run not take the place of what we lost, it is injuring our dogs. My Pax has gone lame from running on its asphalt surface and we are beginning the expensive vet process of X-rays, etc. She is in pain and often falls going up steps, smashing her head into the steps when her legs fail. She is my partner, so when she suffers so do I.

None of the old dog-walking community uses the Leroy St. run. I miss standing in the old field and watching the changes in nature through the year. I miss having a decent place to go and play with my dog. I miss my community. I miss an honest response to community needs.

Pacifico is president, Dog Owners Action Committee

15 Responses to OPINION: Not going to the dogs on Gansevoort, Pr. 40

  1. https://evgrieve.com/2019/06/here-are-next-meetin

    — when and where are the west side resiliency meetings??????????

  2. If you've attended the P40 meetings then I'm not sure why you don't understand that the process is all about making commercial development without pissing out the ballplayer's parents. Dogs do not fit into this backroom dealing. I'm not sure why there are only 2 sides to this issue – Bergman vs. Wils – but they are the only ones our elected leaders are listening to. The entire process was developed for limiting any other voices. Maybe in the next election, only those 2 should be allowed a vote.

  3. We need more dog runs in the village. There are as many dogs as people. Leroy st run is a disaster. Half the size of what was proposed. And a tennis surface my dog tore his pads chasing balls!!!

    We want less buildings and mor dog parks!

  4. Corruption was not supposed to trickle down to the community level. Sadly, it is pure muck
    and people are left with being totally ignored for whomever has the dollars to make public wishes go away."

    • Sadly corruption starts at the bottom as unless you make the right deals with the right people (to do something after you get elected) you won't even be nominated. I have watched this over and over again – the machine.

  5. We use the dog run Washington Square Park twice a day and the run at Leroy Street about once a month. We live close to Pier 40 and would be eager for more dog run availability there.

  6. Roberta Spalter

    We need more dog runs!

  7. Greenwich Village and West Village has one of the highest concentration of dogs in the city. We need healthy safe places for them to run and play off leash. I’m sick to hear the author’s dog and others have suffered damage due to Leroy Street Park’s unforgiving surface, and her calls for better dog runs have fallen on deaf ears. Lynn has been at the forefront of fighting for what tens of thousands of dogs need, and I applaud her tireless effort. It’s simple really. There are at least 600,000 dogs across NYC and their owners will not be silenced.

  8. Lynn is absolutely correct, we need more dog runs & they should be included as a part of every proposal for public spaces, including those on the water front. It’s always been a struggle to get dog runs in the Village, despite the fact that more & more dogs live here. The decision makers really shouldn’t be so dismissive of dog owners as we are an important part of the community & we vote!

    • Didn't you do enough to screw things up back in the day. If you wanted dog runs, you should have done that when you were in charge, but you were too concerned with settling scores and pissing off residents. Please, go away.

  9. Lynn is correct. Dogs are a field sport. Folks like to run with their dog, toss balls, play frisbee. And yet every time a dog park is proposed in CB2, it’s either “forgotten” about — or what is built is 1-2000 sq ft asphalt dog toilet no bigger than a few parked cars — usually in the blistering sun. Not a good place to park your car. Not a good place to bring your dog.

  10. I want to thank Lynn for fighting the fight that we should all be fighting. There is so much land available on the Westside. There is no excuse as to why dog owners are not benefiting. Yes, I know it's about power and money, but it still just takes one person to start the fight, and up to the rest of us to keep fighting for worthwhile causes.

    Families with children certainly have more parks, yet when they bring their dogs to the soccer fields they are tied up on the outside of the fences as the signs read NO DOGS ALLOWED on the grass. How does this benefit the dog? Being tied up outside totally stresses them out.

    As a trainer and behaviorist, I am so disappointed in the Parks Dept. for not fighting with us to get more designated land for dogs and with grass surfaces.

    I am on the Board of Director's at the LeRoy St. Run and as happy as I was when the revamped run re-opened, I was not pleased about the choice of the ground and size. They could have easily given us some of the land north and south of that area, previously promised. Not only does the Asphalt rip our dog's paws, but it's slippery, and they often smash into the walls.

    In addition to the existing dog runs, we would all benefit from runs that are designed specifically for troubled dogs, and newly rescued dogs that can't yet mingle with the general population but desperately need safe areas where they can run "off-leash," to release their anxiety, and so owners don't need to worry about safety.

    Dogs are our family. They give up everything for us; it's time they get what they need. The dog runs on the Westside are not big enough, and the ground texture is dangerous.

    Speak up, Bark, whatever it takes. We all have a voice. Let's use it.

  11. My puppy’s paws are ALWAYS torn up from the Chelsea dog run because it is all cement, and jagged cement at that. He ends up not running around and just standing there, where if I take him to central park, Fort Tryon dog run, or washington square dog run, he sprints around and gets his energy out. All the grassy areas in chelsea are no dogs allowed in the grass, but walking him on pavement all the time is not good, especially in the hot summer months, so I end up trying to lug him on the subway up to central park. I would absolutely love a large grassy area for him to run around on in the Chelsea area!

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