Friday, May 9, 2008

Dog Owners Rejoice!

This past Wednesday, the ANC 2F commissioners voted unanimously (as usual) to write a letter to the DC Department of Parks and Recreation in support of a proposed dog park. Dog Owners of Greater Shaw is leading the charge to convert a portion of the Shaw Field area at 11th Street, NW and Rhode Island Avenue to a fenced field for dog owners to walk and play with their unleashed pets. You may know Shaw Field as the park with the skateboarding area located at the crazy intersection of Q, 11th, and Rhode Island. The recreation field, usually used for soccer, extends north along 11th Street. To create the dedicated dog area, Dog Owners suggests that the soccer pitch be relocated along the eastern side of the skateboard section and that the current soccer pitch and adjacent field be reserved for four-legged creatures and their human friends.

Dog lovers, whether owners or not, can sign an online petition to support the proposed park. You must, however, live within a 10-block radius of the site to sign the petition. Cheaters are weeded out daily by address. Already, hundreds of Shlogan residents have signed. Not only does Dog Owners of Greater Shaw have the support obr/f the community and our ANC commissioners, but Lt. Mike Smith has also written a letter in support of the dog park application. Reasons for residents, both dog owners and non dog owners, to support the park include the following:

  • Increased resident usage of Shaw Field would deter crime.
  • Dog parks create social pressure for owners to consistently pick up pet waste. The park also localizes waste, reducing sanitation problems along our sidewalks.
  • Both dogs and their owners are more physically and mentally healthy when they have a place to play together. Happy and healthy dogs are less likely to be nuisances to their neighbors.

    (This list is partially taken from Lt. Smith's letter.)

    For the record, I do not own a dog. Our one-bedroom apartment won't allow for a pup to bound around. As well, my cat might beat it up, and Mr. 14th & You's cat might have a heart attack. But one day I hope to be responsible enough and to own a large enough home to have my own dog. Until then, I'm happy to live vicariously through the hundreds of dog owners I've seen out in our neighborhood.


    Brian Liu said...

    i dont even have a dog, and i want to sign it, but i cant seem to get the petition to work for me. bummer.

    Libby said...

    I live directly across from this park and I really have to disagree.
    The petition claims that "The field has historically been under-utilized as an athletic field;"

    On every half way decent day this park is full of people using the athletic fields. The other near by park, behind Seaton Elementary, which is friendly to smaller kids and families, is also usually crowded.

    With so little green space in the area, I think we should prioritize people above dogs.

    Rob said...

    The sports fields are well used and should not be removed.

    I support a tiny dog park on the traffic island at Rhode Island and Q, or maybe way over in the corner by the church on 11th street.