Comments on: Plans for Dog Park, Skatepark Move Ahead it's like being there Tue, 16 Sep 2014 04:56:38 +0000 hourly 1 By: Rod Johnson Rod Johnson Mon, 31 Dec 2012 02:04:26 +0000 Thanks for the clarification on Riverside, Mary. I guess what I’m saying is that a well-designed decision process would weigh those kinds of factors against all the other factors for all the candidates.

Linda Diane: you’re right about the quietness of the dog parks. I spend a lot of time at Olson Park, and watch car after car unload their dogs, take them off their leashes, and head out into the park, totally ignoring the dog park. It’s fairly rare that I ever see anyone use the dog park, and most people seem to ignore the leash law for the larger park completely.

By: Observatory Observatory Sat, 29 Dec 2012 15:15:12 +0000 The dog park here is right downtown and very attractive … kids … rich adults … retirees …. and their top breeds …. on display and very chic … enjoying a very pleasant gathering space with the library, markets and memorial square adjacent. Marble patio… FYI

Of course in Ann Arbor ….

By: Linda Diane Feldt Linda Diane Feldt Sat, 29 Dec 2012 02:34:07 +0000 I hope those who are opposed to a dog park at West Park will visit the two existing dog parks. They are well managed, clean, relatively quiet, and really fun. The dogs have to be licensed and a fee paid to be able to use them. No tag from paying the extra fee, and you are not welcome.
There are off leash dogs now at West Park. I’m told people are regularly ticketed. There is no reason to think a dog park will increase those who ignore the leash law. The dog parks attract people who PAY MORE so that their dogs can run off leash in a safe legal way. I’ve met hundreds of them, and they aren’t interested in doing something risky, unsafe, and illegal – ESPECIALLY when the legal safe alternative is right there.
Dog people don’t want to step in dog poop any more than regular pedestrians, ball players and more. Dog parks are self policing – we point out poop to owners who missed seeing their dog go. And there is significant pressure to pick up. And, since we don’t want to step in it, we’ll pick up any piles that still get missed. Of course.
With double gates, substantial fencing, self selected conscientious owners and happy dogs getting great socialization, this is a very good thing.
I think there are a lot of misunderstandings and incomplete information about what a dog park is and how it functions. I live next to a playground. I can guarantee that there is much more noise commotion and traffic from that stretch of open space than there will ever be from a well run dog park.
Bringing more responsible, observant, and paying people to West Park is a great use of a tiny part of the park.
Please, go to the existing dog parks and see how well this works. It really is a great thing. It is a great thing for dog owners, who will pay a fee for the opportunity to have a tiny section of this park for our recreational use, and for better socialized dogs which is good for everyone they might come in contact with everywhere in town.
West Park is not becoming a dog park. There is a tiny part of West Park that will be for dogs. There is a huge difference.

By: Mary Morgan Mary Morgan Fri, 28 Dec 2012 19:01:33 +0000 Re. Riverside Park as a possible dog park: That has been mentioned at previous PAC meetings, but the downsides were cited as (1) Riverside is heavily used by soccer clubs and other recreational groups during the summer, and (2) there are flooding issues because of its location along the river.

By: Rod Johnson Rod Johnson Fri, 28 Dec 2012 18:33:19 +0000 I agree with Vivienne about the impact on West Park. It’s not as if there aren’t alternatives–what about Riverside Park, for instance, which is an underused park without a very clear identity?

By: James Jefferson James Jefferson Fri, 28 Dec 2012 02:21:42 +0000 I am 100 % behind the skatepark, but I don’t understand why it is being placed so far out of downtown. What about 721 N. Main, or the library lot, or the Klines lot, or any number of places at are a bit closer to the action?

By: Vivienne Armentrout Vivienne Armentrout Thu, 27 Dec 2012 19:50:53 +0000 “He also noted that West Park would eventually be great for an unfenced off-leash dog park, but the city isn’t ready for that yet.” Lawter has hit on the head my concerns about this use of West Park for a dog park. I believe that it will encourage dog owners to view the entire area as an off-leash area. That will compromise the use of this beautiful park as a general recreation area and place for passive enjoyment of the natural area.

West Park is one of the few large green areas near downtown (or in the Central Area; Fuller Park is the other one) and is considered one of the gems of our park system. We have just spent a lot of money to rework it. I am dubious about the effect of even a temporary fence on the view. But I am especially unhappy about this smaller area as a first step in transforming the entire park into a dog park.

By: Rod Johnson Rod Johnson Thu, 27 Dec 2012 19:26:59 +0000 I have a lot of respect for Amy Kuras and the PAC, but I have to say that that “scorecard” is a pretty weak instrument for making decisions. I teach courses in which decision matrices like this are used, and this one would get some fairly negative feedback. All the criteria are equally weighted? What do the criteria mean? How were the scores (on a 4 to 20 scale–?) determined? Is there anything in those criteria that reflects the kinds of concerns the New Hope folks raised at the meeting?

I feel some sympathy for the New Hope folks. I think their wishes should have some weight here. But even aside from that, except for the location, the West Park location doesn’t seem like a well-supported choice.