Brooklyn Bridge Park is the greatest open space since Prospect Park was built in the Civil War era — but for dogs, it’s nothing special.
That’s because pups are completely barred from any of the lush, grassy areas in the newly opened Pier 1 portion of the proposed 1.7-mile long waterfront park along the DUMBO and Brooklyn Heights shoreline.
And therein lies a conflict. Under city zoning, any land designed as “parkland” — like Brooklyn Bridge Park — must allow dogs on a leash at all times. Some parks, such as Prospect Park, allow dogs to be entirely unleashed before 9 am and after 9 pm.
But this new city-state quasi park has special rules to bar canines from the sitting area.
“There will be no dogs, no chairs and no big soccer games on the lawn,” said Jeff Sandgrund, director of operations for the park. “It’s a passive lawn — people can use it within reason.”
Dogs certainly roamed the concrete walkways surrounding the lawn on Monday, but the dog-gone announcement left some owners barking.
“Leashed dogs only allowed on the concrete? How about giving us 10 feet of grass along the border where we can picnic with our dogs, or watch the boats sail by?” said Bob Ipcar, president of FIDO, a Prospect Park-based dog advocacy group. “That would be the ‘beast’ of all worlds!”
Dog issues aside, there are other pressing matters. For now, city and state officials are more concerned about conjuring a city entity to officially operate the space and build future open space in the development, a takeover deal that was made earlier this month.