July 25, 2013 By Christian Murray
Some dogs in Long Island City might not have their day after all.
A proposal to construct a dog run near a new elementary school has been put on hold following concerns from a local parents group that it would put young children at risk. They argue that it would result in a high concentration of dogs near the school that would increase the chances of children being bitten by dogs.
The proposed dog run would be located on a narrow piece of land between the Queens West Sportsfield and PS 312, which will open this September. However, it would be in a location convenient for tenants who live in TF Cornerstone buildings.
The dog run would be the fourth in Hunters Point–with one on Vernon Blvd (48th Ave.); one at Murray Park; and another one scheduled to open in a matter of weeks when the Hunters Point South park space opens.
Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer said “the parents have valid concerns and that the proposal will not move forward until community groups, the parents and elected officials all weigh in on the matter.“ He said that he had spoken to the director of New York State Parks about its proximity to PS 312–and that they are also considering other possible sites.
They put forward a number of issues. Besides their concern about dog bites, they believe that the dog run would distract the students, since many children would be able to see and hear the dogs through the classroom windows.
Furthermore, they believe that the children are more likely to step on dog excrement on the way to school, which would cause hygiene problems when they track it inside.
“We are not opposed to dogs,” said Kris Schrey, who is a co-organizer of the Long Island City Parents Group. “Many of the parents have dogs. We just think the dog run should be moved someone else. It’s just common sense.”