Splitting the Difference

The Woes of the Tribeca Dog Run

The Tribeca Dog RunThe Tribeca Dog Run
To the editor,
Thanks for writing about the dog run/children run “Splitting the Difference,”  (BroadsheetDAILY, April 9) a few issues ago.
However, the article is extracted from some of us, lightheartedly reliving the past in a discussion.  While the evolution of those spaces is relevant it also can give the reader the wrong impression as to what is currently happening.  One city wide newspaper called me and thought it was a huge blunder, a dangerous sink hole and a representation of all that is wrong with the City.  I told them not really the case.
First, for many years the children’s groups and the dog owners have worked cooperatively. In fact the bench the Parks Department wants to remove is mine taken from the historic Brighton Beach Baths in Brooklyn. It has been refurnished and brought back to its grand splendor.  The owners and doggies love it. Also, the dog owners meet in the Downtown Community Center. There is no quarreling .
Years ago I wanted to redo the space with a dog run atop and theatre and gym underneath.  I must have been dreaming when I learned the cost.
Second, the dog run is poorly designed and one end of it has collapsed. There is no water supplied in winter months and there is no drainage. I suspect when it was built no one considered its transition from a vacant lot to a dog run. Underneath the dog run is anybody’s guess and I would love to see what it is.
Currently water drains into the walls of the Downtown Community Center and over the years that can’t be good. That is why I am concerned about the sink hole right next to our community center. I seemed to be the only person concerned, but finally and thankfully the Parks department responded. In the summer, rodents can be seen using the collapsed area for a home. The fenced in area is dirty and off limits to the cleaners. A one-time clean up is not the answer but sure would be nice.
The School Construction Authority fixing half the space and The Parks Department leaving their space unrepaired is the most revealing part of the story.  Often we see jurisdictional inefficiencies between governmental entities.  Yet that is no excuse for proper coordination.
That’s the Story. If the dog owners and children’s groups can get along so can there be Peace in the Middle East.  Getting the Parks Department to the table is part of the solution. I will be updating everyone as the Parks Department has responded with some new rules for the dog run but were waiting on some solutions.
Bob Townley
Founder and Executive Director
Manhattan Youth

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