Brooklyn Bridge bark! No dogs allowed in park portion opened today!

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It’s the greatest thing to happen to Brooklyn open space lovers since Prospect Park was built in the Civil War era — but it’s not so great for their dogs!

City and state officials opened part of Pier 1 in Brooklyn Bridge Park on Monday after decades of planning and delays, making available a portion of what may one day be a self-sustaining, multi-use Nirvana along 1.7 miles of DUMBO and Brooklyn Heights waterfront.

Before that happens, Brooklynites can at least enjoy Pier 1, with its sweeping views of Manhattan, walkways, waterfront benches, granite front “stoop” and Great Lawn.

Plus, the upcoming summer concessions will offer food and drink (can you say wine bar?) to the amenities.

“Like Rome, the park wasn’t built in a day — but good things come to those who wait!” said a grinning Borough President Markowitz. “People all across Manhattan will have their binoculars out, jealously eyeing our paradise across the water.”

It’s a paradise that is not wholly usable until mid-April, when the new lawn — which accounts for almost half of the six-acre pier — is strong enough to open to the public. Picnics and Frisbee will be allowed on the stately grass next month, but dogs will not.


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.

Mayor Bloomberg allocated $55 million in city money, on top of the city’s $139-million share of the $350-million cost to build along all six of the waterfront piers. But the cost of maintenance — $16-million per year — is another problem that’s still being hashed out.

For now, park officials said that they can maintain the existing green space — plus the portion of Pier 6 that will open later this spring — from fees on the One Brooklyn Bridge Park residential building at the Atlantic Avenue end of Furman Street.

Updated 5:02 pm, March 24, 2010
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Reasonable discourse

Rachel from Williamsburg says:
The Brooklyn Paper is so funny - a great big new park opens at the foot of the Brooklyn Bridge, transforming the very heart of historic Brooklyn, but instead of talking about the park and what it means, you talk about dogs?

I'm more interested in the park, but if we are on the subject of dogs, I must admit that I am really torn on this issue. I have a dog and I'm always happy when I can find a place where he can run free and chase a ball, but at the same time I also like to sit on the grass without having to worry about dog pee or worse.
March 22, 2010, 1:53 pm
Pacholo from Red Hook says:
Thank god it's not a dogrun!
March 22, 2010, 1:58 pm
joey from clinton hills says:
whatever, I saw folks bringing their dogs to CH playgrounds this weekend. Who is supposed to enforce this rule?
March 22, 2010, 2:02 pm
Matthew Parker from Bklyn Heights says:
This is a non-story, and a "controversy" utterly fabricated by the author.

Here's the gist of my phone and email conversation with the author of this article, held just 3 hours ago:

-- There are over 2,000 areas designated as parks in NYC, but only 89 have designated 9pm-9am off-leash areas. Not all parks need off-leash areas, especially when there's a plethora of off-leash recrational areas less than 3 blocks from Pier 1.

-- The largest dog run, Hilside Park at over 2 acres, is located only two blocks away from Pier 1.

-- A second dog run exists about 3 blocks away in Dumbo Park.

-- A 9-9 offleash area already exists 3 blocks away in Cadman Plaza Park.

Responsible dog owners are pleased that the decision was made to allow dogs on-leash and on path in Brooklyn Bridge Park. A reminder that Fulton Ferry Park just 2 blocks away doesnt allow dogs at all.

It's up to everyone to obey the rules to keep these privliges in Brooklyn Bridge Park.

Keep your dog on-leash in the park (except in the dog run on Pier 6), keep your dog on the paths (plenty of seating there--I just took my dog this afternoon), and ALWAYS pick up poop. It's not just the law, it's common courtesy to one's neighbors.

I see that my email and phone conversation with the author of this article was like talking to a brick wall. Just 3 hours ago, when Andy said my viewpoint on this "issue" would appear in the article, he clearly wasn't serious. What's the word for an intentional untruth?

The author of this article had an a priori conclusion and no dissenting opinion would stop it. Very typical of a Murdoch publication, sadly.

Matthew Parker
Pres., Friends of Hillside Dog Park, Inc.
V.P., New York Council of Dog Owners Groups
March 22, 2010, 2:49 pm
brooklynite from brooklyn heights says:
Dog owners have a big ass park on Columbia Heights dedicated to letting dogs run free. They don't need to roam the new Bridge Park. How about some consideration for people with allergies to dogs, small kids who don't want to be mauled and just plain folk who don't want to have to sidestep dog poop residue in the new park?
March 22, 2010, 3:34 pm
brooklyner from brooklyn says:
Andy Campbell,
Do you look in the mirror every morning and like what you see? Do you say, "I'm a reporter who brings valuable information to people?" Or is it hard to look at your own face because you are such a miserable failure. Not only do you write for such a sham of a "newspaper" but instead of reporting what is unabashedly good news - the opening of huge new park that the people of brooklyn have been waiting for for decades, you try to twist it into some sort of idiotic controversy that only an idiot would fall for. Seriously Andy, take some time off and reassess your life. Think long and hard about the role you play in society. I'm sure your parents are really proud.
March 22, 2010, 3:57 pm
Jaimie from brooklyn heights says:
My children play there and I don't want them to be exposed to dogs. Animals carry fleas and diseases which could be potentially dangerous for little children. I think that printing this article is both irresponsible and downright dangerous for the littlest brooklynites. I moved to brooklyn from Chicago two years ago, but already it feels like my second home. Now I think, maybe I was a bit premature in saying that. You can read my full comments on the park slope parents website.
March 22, 2010, 5:48 pm
Matthew Parker from Bkyn Heights says:

In NYC, dogs are allowed in parks with their owners under certain rules, including being licensed, vaccinated, and on-leash.

In certain parks, such as Ft. Greene, Prospect, Central, Cadman, before 9am each morning and after 9pm dogs are allowed off-leash in certain areas under certain rules--including vaccination.

You might be interested to know that canine rabies has been eradicated in the United States as of several years ago, according to the CDC. This is a result of decades of aggressive vaccination.

You might also be interested to know that rabid racoons are in NYC Parks, in Central Park, and lately one was found not far from Prospect Park. Additionally, fleas and ticks infest the rat population of this city, as well as birds such as pigeons.

If you're concerned about your child getting disease, you have much more to fear against rats, mice, raccoons, birds--which are rampant in most parks, than dogs. As far as I'm aware, there are zero zoonotic disease transmissions attributable to dogs that have occured in NYC in years--and the City Health Department tracks these statistics.

Are there no dogs in Chicago?
March 22, 2010, 6:26 pm
Buddy from Cobble Hill says:
Give the guy a break, will ya. This whole "park" is a big non story. It ain't a park. Isn't designated one either. Just a lot o' green lawns for condos seems to me. Doesn't have anything to do in it either- its a promenade, like the Mayor said. And why the heck shouldn't dogs have the right to go there if they stay off the grass? Seems like no one will be allowed on the grass anyway with all those fences. So, Andy, thanks for the article. And the rest of you should give it a rest. Try asking for a real park why don't you and stop carping about what ain't - like a park.
March 22, 2010, 8:44 pm
brooklyner from brooklyn says:
Buddy - Allow to correct the many incorrect statements in your post:
1) Just because it's not designated as city park land, doesn't make it not a park. In fact none of the state-run park land in the city is "designated" as park - does that make them not parks
2)Besides that the deal that was recently struck between the City and Squadron included a promise to protect all the land as parkland
3)I suggest you go over to pier 1 and take a look. You can then see for your own eyes as the false propoganda about this just being a backyard for condos will fade away. The park is huge. Even just this one section is huge - bigger than bryant park.
4) The lawns are closed right now for the next couple of weeks to allow the lawns time to seed. There are signs on the lawns that say they will be open in mid april
5)There is plenty to do in this park. Sunbathe, read, picnic, go for a jog or a run. Take your kid to the playground. Under your logic there should be no lawns in any park. That's just plain stupid. ANd besides that - this is just the first piece of this park. Eventually there will be a carousel, soccer fields, basketball courts, kayaking, handball, etc. etc. etc.
6) Despite what Andy would have you believe - dogs will be allowed in this park on the pathways - just not on the lawns. Like the great lawn in central park. Is central park not a park?

Buddy your short post had more untruths in it than Andy's whole article, but at least you don't claim to be a "journalist".
March 22, 2010, 9:44 pm
Fourth Estate from DUMBO says:
Enough space for dogs already.

Look at the current main part of Brooklyn bridge park, not only is there a dog run on the side of it, dog owners are constantly bringing their dogs onto the main lawn of the park, unleashed and running all over the place.

Enough already. When dog owners keep to space already designated for them and leave the rest of the parks to people, then we can talk about adding more dog runs.
March 22, 2010, 10:04 pm
Jaimie from Brooklyn Heights says:
Matthew Parker:

I know that it's easy for you to discount my opinion, me being a woman and all, but the way you obviously flaunt your misogony in thie forum is a surprise.
For your information, dogs in Chicago must be de-clawed and have their front canines removed in order to get a license. Furthermore, the cold winters serves as a natural disinfectant for our dogs. Maybe you should go to Chicago sometime before your make coments that are patently absurd about the city I love.
March 23, 2010, 1:54 am
Matthew Parker from Bklyn Heights says:

You're response above (2:54am)is either from an Internet troll getting his or her jollies (and if so, please accept my apologies for what I'm about to say) or you must be very insecure and unhinged, considering I didn't mention nor hint at gender at all in my response to your diatribe about your concern about zoonotic disease transmission. For all I know (or care) the name Jaimie could be a man.

By using an oppressed woman in a sea of misogyny tactic and completely ignoring my response to your assertion that dogs transmit disese in parks (which has no basis in fact, widepsread observation or experience)--you reveal that you have no argument whasoever.

Yes, this must be an Internet troll. No rational person could make such a claim about the good city of Chicago.
March 23, 2010, 6:48 am
John from South Brooklyn says:
While the site is spectacular, I think the park itself is mediocre. The waterfront park at Ikea is far more interesting, retained much of the site's history and has much better fixtures and details. That's because it was designed by renowned landscape architect, not by committee.
March 23, 2010, 7:58 am
Bayof from Biscay says:
Lawns!!!? Were they "designed" to recall the "keep off the grass" off areas in city housing projects?
March 23, 2010, 10:08 am
NYCdog from All of NYC says:

Your assertions about Chicago dog licensing requirements is wrong. Here are the requirements: "Dogs must have a current rabies vaccination. Your dog registration expires one year after the date of your dog’s rabies vaccination"

Please get your facts correct. The Chicago dog owner groups are co-participants with NYCdog in national information exchanges. In fact, NYCdog was just consulted by Chicago on the proper design for fenced dog parks.

NYCdog believes in responsible, respectful dog ownership. One of our officers consulted to the BBP authorities on the design and size of the dog park being built at Atlantic Avenue near Pier 6. And NYCdog strong supported the policy to allow dogs on-leash to be walked on the promenade.
March 23, 2010, 10:48 am
al pankin from downtown says:
this is great news...not everyone likes dogs running around. some people are affraid of the dogs and the people don't clean up after their dogs and dog urine kills the grass that was just installed. dogs don't have "rights", only people...
March 23, 2010, 1:12 pm
Jaimie from Brooklyn Heights says:
Look, in Chicago we don't have wild dogs running after our children. Maybe they have changed the licensing laws in the two years since I left, I have no idea. If they have, as you claim, well that's just awful. I guess soon they'll have filthy,a ggressive dogs bothering their children too.
In any case, i think that things should be set up with our CHILDREN in mind - not your dog. I mean it.
March 23, 2010, 2:04 pm
Orrin from Brooklyn says:
Jamie (though by now it's obvious you're a phony poster), if you knew anything (and your bogus Chicago rules prove you do not), you would know that dog bites in NYC are at an all time low. They did not change the laws in Chicago after you left; perhaps you woke up from your delusional dreams.

We do not have "wild dogs running after our children."

You are trying to make this a dog vs. children argument. It is nothing like this.

The irrational mind will grab at anything to defend their (your) biases, prejudices, and ignorance.
March 23, 2010, 4:08 pm
Responsible Dog Owner from Park Slope says:
Matthew Parker,

Thank you for keeping this in perspective with both your background on the article and your response to the crazy talk about diseases and attacks.

Pretty sure you are right about Jaimie being a troll... at least let's all hope that it's not really a person who is responsible for raising kids. (yikes!)
March 23, 2010, 4:14 pm
Winston Smith from Poop Slope says:
Good, Now I don't have to go to Green-Wood or the Botanic Garden to find grass that is not covered in poop.
March 23, 2010, 8:29 pm
Christina from Middle Village says:
Winston... if you want poop, just read Orrin's blog.. of course, he cannot spell "Brooklyn"
March 23, 2010, 8:53 pm
Chad from Park Slope says:
Dogs really don't belong in apartments, and regardless ofhow many dog-runs and dedicated dog parks you try to create, they will never get the exercise and fresh air that they need.
March 24, 2010, 5:26 am
thronston_marcus from brooklyn Heights says:
It is obvious that dogs should not be allowed on the lawns.... please people.
The bigger issue is it has taken what.. 25 years of planning to come up with basically expensive verandas and walkways and a bit of grass. The one playground they put in has 3 stainless steel domes which I do not see much use for. Yes maybe one would have been fine for the strange kid who wants to climb on a slippery surface, ice cold in winter and burning hot in summer. They also added 3 spinning things. Again 3?? One maybe two. Where is the climbing gym, the slides? There is really nothing in this playground except 6 infant swings. I just don't get it. Was this really designed by committee instead of an architect. Where is the playground designers.

A second complaint is the low budget.. terribly ugly lights and fences made of wire. It looks like a temporary construction site. Who designed this? I am curious to see what the rest of the park looks like but so far I am not impressed by anything.. and am actually deeply saddened by what I saw. Compare this to Battery Park and the whole west side park all the way up to Chelsea piers and this is a Brooklyn embarrassment.
March 24, 2010, 10:53 am
Fourth Estate from DUMBO says:

Give it a chance, this is only the first section, and it was designed to be basic, as a result, it is the first section to open, pier 6 looks more complicated, and from pier one you can see the future sections, like the tidal pool beginning to take shape. My complaint is that they should have built it all in one shot, but we are still a bit away from a point of judging the entire thing.
March 24, 2010, 10:53 pm
CPine from Boerum Hill says:
This is great news for city dwellers! More green space!

But bad news as well!!!

This park will be another tourist attraction, attracting tourist dollars, which is good for the local economy; mostly food and wine businesses.

While the surrounding residents grapple and tolerate more car traffic, more congested subway trains and less park space for residents to enjoy the park with their families, which at times include dogs as well.

I think most of us saw this coming: WINE BAR!!
March 28, 2010, 10:28 am

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