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Can We Do Better? The Sorry State of the Southtown Dog Run?


The Southtown Dog Run was set for replacement – or at least improvement – in 2019. That’s when RIOC yielded to community pressure, squashing a plan jammed into Blackwell Park.

by David Stone

The Roosevelt Island Daily News

The Southtown Dog Run: Fit for Dogs… or Anything?

The Southtown Dog Run today

In October, 2019, community opposition mounted against RIOC’s plans for relocating the Southtown Dog Run in a corner of the already crowded Blackwell Park. And in December, according to a report in the Roosevelt Islander, then President/CEO Susan Rosenthal cancelled the plan. She said RIOC “…listened to some community opposition.”

Those were the days, weren’t they?

Rosenthal added that the “temporary” dog run in open space where Building 9 was planned needed an upgrade to go with a move. But then, after the unseemly unseating or Rosenthal in June, 2020, the plans stalled. Dog owners are left with the choice of an inadequate, unpleasant space or finding somewhere else for free play.

Plenty of dog walkers show us that dogs abound in Southtown, yet the ugly dog run is almost always empty. Is anyone at RIOC paying any attention.

Current President/CYA Shelton J. Haynes hasn’t bragged about coming up with a cure nor has he shown evidence of even awareness. That’s unfortunate because the Southtown Dog Run is ugly as sin, unfair to both dogs and their companions and again signals the degrading of quality of life issues on Roosevelt Island.

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