Aug. 27, 2018 By Christian Murray
The overhaul to the dog run at Doughboy Park is nearly complete, but many dog owners are already spotting issues with the run’s design and demanding change.
Rick Duro, the leader of the Sunnyside United Dog Society, says the Woodside run is too small, and that only a handful of dogs would be able to be in the space at a given time.
The run, measuring 1,325 square feet and nearly complete, is built on the footprint of the old beaten-up run, which was hardly used due to its diminutive size and lack of water, dog owners say.
“This is built for hamsters,” Duro said. “It wasn’t used before because it was too small. It won’t be used again unless it is bigger.”
Duro said there is approximately 700 square feet of space surrounding the run that appears to be set aside for shrubs. This underutilized space, he said, should be used to make the run larger.
The Sunnyside United Dog Society has convinced Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer that it needs to be larger, too. Last week, Duro, Van Bramer, and Queens Parks Commissioner Dotty Lewandowski took a site visit of the run.
“There is a lot of ground not being used and we have an opportunity to expand it,” Van Bramer said, adding, “I want a dog run that is successful and that the dog owners of Woodside can enjoy.”
Van Bramer said he allocated $250,000 toward the overhaul of the dog run in 2013.
The revamp was delayed for several years, since the site was used by the School Construction Authority as a staging area to build a new school building and playground at P.S. 11, located next to the park.
The SCA cut a deal with the Parks Dept. to build the dog run since it has been using the space. The Parks Dept, meanwhile, was tasked with constructing the staircase up the rocky hill to the run.
Van Bramer’s $250,000 was eventually steered toward building the staircase leading up to the dog run.
The plans for the dog run revamp were never presented to Community Board 2 or the Council Member’s office prior to construction. The Council Member believes the plans never surfaced because of the nature of the two-agency project. The dog run, he said, also appears to be more of a revamp than new construction, all built by an agency that is not known for building dog runs.
Van Bramer doesn’t expect the stair construction to be priced at the full $250,000, and wants the left over funds to go toward expanding the dog run instead. Furthermore, Doughboy Plaza, next to the dog run, will be undergoing a $1.5 million upgrade, where the Council Member might be able to find additional funds for the dog run’s expansion.
The dog run expansion and plaza overhaul should be put into one contract, Van Bramer said. He is currently in talks with NYC Parks about the move.
The dog run, while almost complete, will not be accessible until the end of the year, since the Parks has not started construction on the stairs. Without the stairs, dog owners are not permitted to use the run.
Van Bramer said it is too early to come up with a timeline for when the expansion could take place.
Why don’t they have a cat run ?
RD says “a better dog run …..would be great for non dog owners because ….it would decrease the number of dogs running loose in the park” You mean some of you will stop breaking the law if you get more money? Extortion?
No, it means that if they actually have some room w/i a properly sized dog run they will be less likely to feel the need to utilize the rest of Doughboy for much needed room. The last one failed due to its size. Why repeat an already failed plan? Makes no sense. You need to brush up on the definition of ‘extortion’.
According to NY City Economic Development Corporation estimates, there are approximately 600,000 dogs in New York City. At the same time the number of licensed dogs is only 87,000. A license cost $8.50. Estimated dog waste per day – 300 tons. Where does dog waste go when put in a plastic bag? Not to a sewage treatment plant as human waste flushed down a toilet does. It goes to a landfill at great expense to taxpayers and great harm to our environment. It is not biodegradable at all in in that form although dangerous methane gas will slowly seep up into the air. Almost as bad as fossil fuels (hello bike lane opponents). We’re killing the planet very quickly. $250000 of our taxes for a dog run? Please look at the big picture. Doughboy park is already a huge dog run day or night. Can anybody find the statistics for how many summonses were issued for leash law and poop violations? How about an equal amount of $ to explore a better way to recycle dog waste.
Maybe they can place a compost bin for poop with a poop scooper that even people who walk by can but their food waste too and recyclables in another bin next to it. Then the compost can be used for plants. Maybe P.S.11 or Woodside residents can grow a garden somewhere. Concrete also seems it could be rough on dog’s paws though it might be better than having dogs run made of dirt and dogs getting dirty all the time, though it’s super fun for them. It still needs more room, many people do not have tiny dogs in Woodside, fetch doesn’t even look possible with the benches.
I don’t understand. Our Councilman, JVB is willing to allocate dollars to a dog park; yet there is no mention of any dollars being allocated to help the homeless in Noonan Park. It appears the only plan for Noonan Park’s Homeless is to remove benches so they go elsewhere. Where are our priorities? Tackling the plight of the Homeless needs to be on the top of our Councilman’s agenda.
The budget in 2019 for Homeless Services is 2.09 billion dollars. How much more money would you like to throw at the homeless?
Why don’t they just give them the money?
Why don’t they just get a job?
a ramp would be better than stairs.
stairs would be limiting access to the dog run/park for both canines and humans unable to navigate a flight or two of stairs.
Meanwhile, are streets are filled with dog shit & litter everywhere. How about some priority on cleaning up the neighborhood instead of this nonsense. We need more trash cans and dog shit bags on every corner.
The article focuses on space which is an issue. If dogs are packed in too tightly, that is when more fights tend to break out. However, it is far from the only issue.
There is no water either to give the dogs to drink or to help clean up messes. If you can’t clean up after the dogs, it is going to stink, have lots of flies and spread of disease!!
Also, the pictures show only 1 gate in/out of each side. With dogs loose in there, you need 2 gates. Otherwise, a dog can slip out while someone is trying to go in and out. It is a necessary safety precaution for all dog parks.
Whoever designed this has clearly never been to a dog run before. What a waste of money as it will just have to be redone all over again.
I spoke with the parks dept about this that same day. They said that they would be running a hose up to the sight. There are also 2 small metal plates, in the area that will be the entrance, marked ‘water’. Parks was not sure if that was for a fountain or hose access though. This is what happens when a city agency with zero experience is put in charge of a project
walk them in the street
Dog Owners: Will you really use this space? As a non-dog-owner who walks through the park regularly, it appears the grassy hill off 54th Street is where people prefer to have their dogs play. This turns me off from using the area with my family. It’s unpleasant to place a picnic blanket in an area that dogs frequent. It’s difficult to see how that out-of-the-way, difficult-to-access dog run will be appealing to people who have been using the hill as a dog run for so many years. It seems foolish to invest more money in something that people are unlikely to use. However, I’m interested in hearing if dog owners think differently.
The reason you see so many dogs on the hill is because the dog run was fenced off for nearly two years. Also, the previous state of the dog run was a wreck
If the dog park were designed and built by the SCA in cooperation with Rick we would not be talking about this, because Rick built an excellent dog run at Lou Lodati park and knows how to get it right
If it’s improved with more space, running water, and a second gate, expect to see fewer dogs on the hill running free
Dog owners: Will you really use this expanded dog run? As a non-dog owner who walks through the park regularly, it seems the grassy hill next to 54th Street is where people really want their dogs to play. This turns me off from using the area with my family. It’s unpleasant to place a picnic blanket in an area that dogs frequent. I would love for an attractive dog walk to discourage dog owners from bringing their dogs to play on the grassy hill, but I truly doubt that out-of-the-way, difficult-to-access site is going to be appealing. It seems foolish to invest more money into something people won’t use. However, I would be interested in knowing if dog owners feel differently.
There is an example: the SUDS run is used by 100s of dogs. Before that there were dogs loose in the park early in the am and late in the pm. It will work out if expanded and made ADA compliant.
Ridiculous. Parks should be for kids. These are probably the same smug millennials who wanted bike lanes.
I hope you’ve never ordered delivery food or you’ve been providing an incentive for bike lanes this whole time!
Yes, because we all know this one truth, delivery people are the most law abiding, non sidewalk riding, stopping at red light and stop sign people there are
The reason the previous dog run that was located @ that spot failed was its size. It was a tiny box on a hill. I have heard the complaints for 15 years. Repeating the same mistake will not help this one succeed. Each side is about ~650-700 sq ft. Numerous times over the last few years I asked the Parks Dept, CB2 and JVB’s office for designs, but none ever materialized, as no one could find them. Later on we learned that the School Construction Authority was building it. I doubt they have much experience creating dog runs, and instead of reaching out to city agencies that do, or local stakeholders, they put up something quickly, on the cheap. We learned a lot in helping get the SUDS run built, so we would have picked up on something as obvious as its size, among other issues. There is plenty of room on the right side of the run to bump it out: ~300 sq ft in the front and ~500 sq ft to the side. That would still leave plenty of room between the run and the fence. This area is dead space, so why not utilize it? Here is what will happen if it is left in its current form….what has been happening in that area for decades: people will return to allowing their dogs off leash in the area around the run. To give perspective, you can fit 2 of the Doughboy park dog runs in the large dog run space (~3300 Sq ft) @ Lodati Park (with the small run being ~1125 sq ft). There is more than enough room to expand it. If the current plan stays and the parks dept plants shrubs it will become weeds in a few months. The parks dept is woefully underfunded and they won’t have the time or resources to keep it nice. Woodside deserves a great dog run and it can still happen. If it has to be delayed to implement these changes, so be it. Other issues: there isn’t a double gate in the entry, there are holes in the fence design that would allow dogs to escape, no water access w/i the run and the only drainage would be between the paved stones on the surface. A better dog run would not only be great for dog owners, but also non dog owners as it would decrease the # of dogs running loose in the park. If anyone is interested in creating a group to help maintain this dog run please feel free to contact me @ [email protected], whatever I can do to help.
As the new president of Hamsters United of Sunnyside I am outraged at Richard Duro’s belittling hamsters. His derisive claim that the old dog run was built for hamsters is insulting.
What happened to the habitrail your Mom and Dad got you last week for doing the dishes and taking out the trash?
“Leftover funds” hysterical. They spent it all JVB, great oversight.
They could also add a Hobo Run.
Why do dog owners feel it is ok to leave there droppings bags on the streets ?
As a dog owner, I HATE this. It is so disgusting! However, I also know how far I have had to walk to find a trash can. I will carry it as far as needed to find a real trash, but I really wish it wasn’t *that* far.
See, they messed up the park because they were too worried about the obnoxious bike lanes. Way to go JVB…
As stated in the comments section of the previous story about this dog run, if it is only accessible by stairs this dog run will not be ADA compliant.