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LIC Residents Sound Off On Dogs at Gantry Plaza State Park, Policy Decision to be Announced Next Month

A “dog-free zone” sign at Gantry Plaza State Park. (Photo: Nathaly Pesantez)

June 28, 2018 By Nathaly Pesantez

Dozens of Hunters Point residents weighed in on what has proven to be a controversial topic in Long Island City—dogs at the waterfront parks—during a public meeting with New York State Parks held yesterday.

The meeting, organized in part by the Hunters Point Parks Conservancy, was a chance for NYS Parks to hear community input on dog policy and rules at Gantry Plaza State Park.

The 12-acre park, spanning from Center Boulevard and 50th Avenue to Anable Basin, is currently off limits to dogs in virtually all places, except for some areas including the plaza in front of the gantries, and one of the piers.

Leslie Wright, NYC Regional Director for NYS Parks, said the meeting was convened due to the number of emails and comments her office has received over time on all things dogs at the park. The meeting was also held as a way to see if a more coherent dog policy could be implemented at the park.

“It just seemed like a natural time to have the conversation,” Wright said.

Most of the attendees were supporters of allowing dogs into the park, but several people opposed any changes to the current policy, citing existing enforcement issues and fears of creating an unsanitary space.

Attendees at a NYS Parks/Hunters Point Parks Conservancy meeting.

“This is the one part of this neighborhood that is dog-free,” said Rebecca, an LIC resident, later adding: “It is nice to have at least one place in this neighborhood where I don’t have to deal with dogs if I don’t want to.”

A number of residents said the no-dog rules at the park are not being enforced, with several dog owners bringing their pets, keeping them off-leash, and not even bothering to pick up after them.

“Whatever we can do to have consistent enforcement would be great, whatever the decision is,” one attendee said.

Still, many locals voiced their frustrations over not being able to simply walk their dog to the park, and said it’s a small group of irresponsible dog owners who don’t pick up after their pets or look out for them who give responsible dog owners a bad name.

Practically all attendees agreed that a compromise needed to be reached at the park, given the growing number of people and families moving in, along with the sheer number of dogs in the neighborhood. A move to permit dogs on the park’s pathways, but not the grass areas where dog waste could pose an issue, for example, was a policy many in the meeting could get behind.

Dan Chin, a father to two young children, was generally in support of a no-dogs-on-grass-policy, but wondered how such a policy would be enforced.

He worried that a dog owner with their dog on the grass would simply go back onto the pavement path once prompted by NYS Parks, but would go back to the grass once enforcement left.

“When you have a bright line rule where an entire section of the park is dog free, I feel like that is actually easier for enforcement,” Chin said.

Wright said a decision on the park policy, which could mean either keeping it as is or updating it, would likely be delivered by the end of July.

She also invited the public and those who were not able to make the meeting to continue communicating with NYS Parks on the topic by emailing:

Leslie Wright, NYC Regional Director
[email protected]

Scott Matson, Deputy General Manager, NYC Region
[email protected]

Gantry Plaza State Park just north of Pier 1, where a posted sign says dogs are not permitted beyond the point. Photo: Nathaly Pesantez)

email the author: [email protected]

43 Comments

D.

A male with a dog browsing the new tall grass for a pee spot back talked me for a “watch out” I said, with a stream of foul mouthed cursing ending with a lunge at me– a threat I ended by taking out my phone and saying “Great, a post about a dog owner attacking an old lady.” At the camera, he reversed, high tailed his poor dog and himself away.
First attack in the new park will be by a dog owner, at a civilian who dares, dares, suggest his dog not despoil his dog’s grassy potty spot.




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John Brand

That’s not even the first thing to happen in the park nor is it even bad how about this i had to knock out a drug addict in the new park cause he was
following and touching and grabbing two women man you people who hate dogs are like bat shit crazy maybe people like you should leave dog owners alone you clearly started with the dog owner by the way you described.




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John Brand

Wow you clearly are exaggerating and you sont want to live where dogs are move to the suburbs
problem soveld.




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Denise Martino

They had better make a no geese, pigeons or rats policy then, too. And how about enforcing no littering? A purely human condition. How about urinating in public, vomiting, dirty diapers? At least dog owners can be fined for not cleaning up after their dogs. Enforce the pooper scooper law, just like they are enforcing the no dog law right now, and that issue will go away. The majority of dog owners, like myself, are responsible and pick up after their dogs. It is a handful of lazy dog owners who do this, and they need to punished. Heck, I even pick up other dogs’ poops to help the cause.

Dog issues are the least of your worries and it is very easily remedied with heavy parks department enforcement. They are already doing that to fine people for walking their leashed dogs on the paths. Put that same energy into catching lazy dog owners who
won’t pick up after their dogs.

Good luck getting a completely sanitary park, or to quote you exactly, “a shit-free park.” Dogs are not your biggest problem.




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brooklynmc

Nobody expects a completely sanitary park and it unfortunately is not a very small percentage. We all live here and step in and around dog poop every single day. I witness dogs peeing in the middle of the hot sidewalk every single day. These owners are so clueless that I don’t even think they can comprehend that what they are doing is dumb, wrong, against the rules and filthy. Do you all see the army of building workers out with their chemical solutions every single day. Just go up to one of those guys and ask if the problem is small or just a few people. I have had conversations with them. They do their jobs professionally but they still have opinions.




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Cassandra S.

People SHOULD expect a sanitary park. Dogs are dogs and they cant clean up adter themselves. Unforunately some owners ignore their responsibilities and non dog owners have to suffer. People need to stop trying to bring their dogs everywhere, they are not humans.




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John Brand

Some dumb logic you have
Cassandra S. Dogs are some peoples kids my dog is my kid he goes wherever i go don’t like it move its that simple lic is dog friendly and everyone who moved here already knew that before you moves here so move cause i am not just cause people like you hate and dislike dogs.




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sailor45

Great, with this logic then we may as well allow humans to crap wherever they want as well as long as they clean up after themselves.




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John Brand

sailor45
Dogs are meant to do thir buisness outside humans are not we got toilets dogs don’t your logic is so ridicules.




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Cassandra S.

John Brand I LOVE dogs but they dont belong everywhere! And its not my problem that people want to pretend that dogs are their children and therefore they MUST go everywhere one would actually take their children. A child cannot be left home without attendance and dog can. This is just more of the “Im entitled” and Im offended” attitude of millenials hipsters and so on. And by your logic, Me the taxpayer has to move so your dog can takeover the sidewalks. And Im the dumb one? LOL.




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Frank

Parents are the entitled ones. I would be more than open to restrictions on where kids can go (remember all the whining about The Gutter being adults only and about strollers not being welcome in bars). Heck, I would support leashing and muzzling laws for children in public. I have seen kids urinating and even defecating in the park. I would say that most dogs are better behaved than children. Cuter too.




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John Brand

Cassandra S i am not a millenial ignorant liberal ibwas born 1990 also you the one who came to a dog nieghborhood acting like you and other non dog owners are entitled and telling us we should all move.
You moved in the a dog neighborhood get that through your thick skull and do us all a favor and move.And yes are are sumb again why did you move the the sog capital of nyc get a brain your logic is so off dog hater.




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dog-lover-that-picks-up

Blanketed? No.. its not. Make your points but don’t be ridiculous…




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LionelQ

When you are responsibly walking your dog this evening, kindly let us all know where you can walk for more than a half a block without seeing smeared dog crap on the side walk or be greeted with a strong whiff of urine? People need to clean up after but also curb their dogs. That is being RESPONSIBLE.




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Frank

Kindly think about how much dog waste there would be given dog biology and the number of dogs in the area (highest in NYC). 99+% of dog owners clean up their mess, and I would bet many of the smears are from dogs whose stool was less than well formed. Of course, I expect your poops have always been perfect.




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Frank

So you are endorsing harassment of public officials? Are you the guy quoted in the article above? If so, you should know that that is legally questionable.




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Meonpc

Dogs are not the problem. People are the problem. After a sunny day, the park is covered with trash. Dogs don’t do this. People who don’t pick up their trash are the same one who don’t pick up after their dogs. Let’s focus on them.




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LIC RESIDENT CONCERNED

The problem are the people who don’t pick up after themselves let alone their dogs.




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Anonymous

It’s important to have no-dog areas available in parks. Not everyone wants to deal with other people’s dogs while trying to enjoy the outdoors, and for many people, having grassy areas that are still clean enough to be usable is crucial to their ability to enjoy the park.

Too often, accommodating dogs comes at the expense of everyone else.




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Licer

Agreed. Some dog owners have misidentified pets as children. Perhaps schools could allow them, give dogs the ethics, teach them the rules of good social behavior. Summer school for pets?
Then pet “parents” could roam off leash.




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Frank

Most dogs are significantly preferable to little humans. I propose a muzzling and leashing law for children under 8 in public places.




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brooklynmc

psychological disorder. These people that put their dogs in bags or strollers scare me.




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gdfgfs

There are dog parks everywhere, we don’t need dogs shitting in every available lawn in the city.




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Denise Martino

Funny thing is, there are hardly ANY available lawns in LIC for dogs. Concrete and gravel is not the only answer for our furry friends.




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John Luke brand

Stop impersonating me and my father james edstrom guy like really that is highly illegal if i find out who you are i will report you to the nypd.And that is just low and dirty to be
impersonating someone.




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Anonymous

While the park was far from dog free due to the flagrant disregard of the rules by some it was much better then the Hunters Point section in terms of cleanliness from dog waste because of the no dog policy. Now a compromise which allows dogs, even with restrictions, will change that for the worse. If they’re discussing it then more then likely it’s going to happen. Maintaining the current policy is hard, giving in is easy, they’ll cave and we’ll have a dirtier park as the result.




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J

Keep hps park out of this please this is not about hps hps park is dog friendly and so are the park employees they are dog friendly.




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JMP

The real issue isn’t dogs or no dogs, it is that there are no cops anywhere, ever!
On day 2 of the HPS extension I saw 3 dogs off their leashes.
1- post signs
2- obey rules
3- enforce rules… how hard is this?
As a non parent and non dog owner, I would like to see everyone get a long… Don’t let your kid run free when I am trying to relax and Don’t let your dog off their leash… how hard is this?




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J

Hps park os dog friendly also you are aloud to have your dog of leash in the park but only at 9pm when it hits moring and its day that is a different story




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LICer

Hunter’s Point South is and should be dog free. Due to the crowds, having dogs lunge at children, adults, birds and each other, fouling any vegetation with pee and poop, is an imposition by dog owners, and a statement of their power over the environment, and everyone else.
A “wild” space should be free of those tensions.




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John Brand

No it should not don’t like it move i don’t see people like you
complaining about wildlife who do it all day everyday animals do their buisness on grass and aint you or anyone gonna stop my dogs right to be in hps park




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JMP

it was 5pm, when I was in the park, not 9pm… dog owners I saw were breaking the rules on day 2. It would be nice to have a few signs and police officers so that there’s no confusion..




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AB2

No, the real issue is dog owners (not all, but most in LIC) are irresponsible and don’t care that their dog craps right next to someone enjoying a picnic. It is disgusting




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brooklynmc

Someone will be attacked or raped in the new part of the park that is totally isolated and has a number of dangerous spots. I am glad this park is open for us to use but it clearly should close at night or have a security guard. The police are non-existent in LIC except to ticket cars, which they are quite good at.




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John Brand

Me be there with my person dog to make point that dogs are persons but better than persons because they catch more good and don’t pay taxes i want to be a dog so i can go to the park. you people without dogs do not make points gooder than me so your opinion is ignorant my dog is more smart.




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John Luke brand

Hey why are you
impersonating me wow talk about low and dirty i am guessing you are the same dued impersonating my
father james edstrom to get a life guy.




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John luke brand

Lic post why are you deleteing my comments of me asking why this guy is
impersonating me like really this news site is so dam biased why dont you delete the guys comment
impersonating me like for real i am the only john brand. In in lic.




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John Luke brand

Stop impersonating me and my father james edstrom guy like really that is highly illegal if i find out who you are i will report you to the nypd.And that is just low and dirty to be
impersonating someone.




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