Civil Disobedience? Pooped Out Residents Ponder Options

Civil Disobedience? Pooped Out Residents Ponder Options

In a feisty Facebook thread spilling from Saturday into Sunday, pooped out Roosevelt Islanders argued and plotted over the continuing issue of dog residue on sidewalks and promenades.

by David Stone

Roosevelt Island Daily News

two long coated brown and black dogs
Photo by Helena Lopes on

Pooped Out: The Dog Dilemma

Most people love dogs, but there is one thing universally loathed, especially in cities: poop left behind by irresponsible owners. The resentment has deep roots. It was, in fact, why all Roosevelt Island ground leases once banned dog ownership. Those rules were later relaxed, but many complexes still allow dogs only in special circumstances.

The community took shape at the height of the “Pooper Scooper Wars” waged in Manhattan. The “City of Tomorrow,” would not face the same issue. Thoughtless dog owners, all over town, made a bad name for dogs by leaving the residue on sidewalks. Everyone, it seemed, stepped in it once or, at least, stepped carefully away. The smell and the community insult can’t be avoided.

Caution: You may not like this picture.

Sunday afternoon on Main Street at Capobianco Field.

Although the presence may not be as much as some pooped out residents say, finding it isn’t hard. The above was left behind smack in the middle of the sidewalk on Main Street, right outside Capobianco Field.

The Dispute

While no one on the thread disputed that the problem exists, there were disagreements over what can be done about it. In general, it was taken for granted that irresponsible dog owners, although a small percentage of the crowd, would not change. They were probably irresponsible about everything. Some even expressed anger when confronted.

But most people on the Facebook thread sounded a familiar theme: RIOC is not doing enough – or anything, really – about the problem. Two people reported Public Safety Officers walking away when approached, one saying it was “your problem.”

Given its huge, mostly idle staff, RIOC, many believe, should shoulder responsibility for quality of life issues. Like dog poop persistently left on sidewalks and promenades. Although some felt that a return to the dog ban was a great idea, it was never a good idea. A ban on thoughtless owners or fines might work be better. But then, as with so much else, that requires PSD doing anything more than writing out parking tickets or acting as school crossing guards.

Even getting the grounds crew out washing the sidewalks would be a step up.

But Then, Civil Disobedience Got a Nod from Pooped Out Residents

Why not, someone suggested, alert RIOC President/CYA Shelton Haynes by presenting him with an “offering?” If you can catch him hustling between his Blackwell House bunker and his mammoth gas guzzler in the New York State Shelton J. Haynes Parking Area across the street…

Nothing else has worked. And confronted with a choice between accepting fresh poop every day as a Roosevelt Island thing or a DYI solution, maybe there is something there.

To be continued…

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