Volume 18 • Issue 48 | April 14 - 20, 2006

Dog run problem not only a surface issue, owners say

By Ronda Kaysen

Some dog owners worship the ground their dogs walk on; others, however, worry the ground might hurt their pups’ paws.

The surface at the Sirius Dog Run in Battery Park City is too slick for their pooches, some canine owners say, and they are campaigning to have it replaced with a rougher surface.

The Battery Park City Parks Conservancy, which oversees the neighborhood’s dog runs, recently paved part of the new North End Ave. dog run with a slightly rougher surface, which dog owners hope will be an improvement over the current option, but the conservancy has made no promises that it will replace the Sirius surface anytime soon.

Is the new surface at the North End run “the answer to all of our prayers? Or does it raise a series of new problems?” said Jeff Galloway, president of the Battery Park City Dogs Association and a Community Board 1 member. “We want to make sure that we’re striking the right balance.”

The surface problem is not entirely new. Sirius, near Gateway Plaza, opened last May with a temporary surface that many owners complained was too rough. After much discussion, it was replaced with the new, slicker surface, which some owners now say is too slick. “We’re trying everything that we can,” said Leticia Remauro, a spokesperson for the Battery Park City Authority, which oversees the Parks Conservancy. “There was a lot of conversation and discussion [with the dog association] regarding what surface it should be… At this point, the surface is up in the air.”

Remauro was not convinced the surface on the North End run, on North End Ave. between Warren and Murray Sts., would make the owners happier. Smaller dogs, apparently, do not mind the slick surface, while the larger dogs prefer a little more friction where they tread. “It’s very difficult to please everyone because you have a large mix of dogs,” said Remauro. “They’re like humans in the sense that they’re not alike.”

Dog owners also have concerns that the water fountain that the dogs will frolic in the North End run will be set to a timer, so owners will not be able to fill and drain the water area at their leisure. They’re also concerned that the fence surrounding the North End run, which is designed with a spiked railing, could be a safety hazard. “Our concern is that the dog would be killed in a failed attempt to jump over the fence,” said Galloway. “It could similarly impale a child or an adult attempting to follow the dog.”

But the fence was designed to have plantings outside of the run, which will deter dogs from jumping it, said Remauro. “We believe that everyone will be satisfied with the run and its design” once the plantings are in, she said.



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