Bay Ridge going to the dogs at Shore Road Park

Bay Ridge going to the dogs at Shore Road Park
Photo by Alison Bowen

Nascent plans for a new dog run on the southern end of Bay Ridge are already so popular that proponents are already expanding the idea.

The Shore Road Parks Conservancy started an online petition last week in support of a place for ups near the park’s tennis courts. But the response has been so positive that Conservancy member Justin Lee Brannan is planning an extra dog run for smaller dogs.

“This idea is catching on like wildfire,” he said.

A dog run would give residents a place to bring pets — something they have lacked since the Owl’s Head Park dog run at the north end of the neighborhood closed for renovations.

Two proposed sites flank the park’s tennis courts near the Fourth Avenue entrance, where Shore Road, the Belt Parkway and 101st Street converge.

One site houses a slab of cracked concrete interrupted by crispy leaves and weeds. The other is a field with six trees and grass lush even in October. Both rival the size of the tennis courts dividing them.

Near the proposed sites, five Parks Department vehicles patrolled within a half hour. Meanwhile, about a dozen people walked dogs near the tennis courts and handball fields.

Those patrol vehicles are the reason Pat Connolly would like a dog run for his collie mix Al.

More than once, Connolly said, Parks Department employees have chastised him for bringing Al too close to baseball fields.

“That’s why I’m coming here at this hour,” he said of his regular midday walks.

Ellen Francese said she walks every day with her Shih Tzu Pumpkin along the park’s outer path on Shore Road, but she would use a dog run in warm weather.

“It’s a nice way to meet people and make new dog friends,” she said.

But the project’s planners will have to convince sunbathers and picnickers, who might not want to share the park with barking dogs.

Galina Borishchak said she loves animals but grass is often covered with sunbathers on blankets.

A better area, she said, might be away from where people might not want paw prints on their sunscreen.

“It’s a good place to get tan,” she said.

Pat Connolly and Al take regular walks in Shore Road Park.
Photo by Alison Bowen