July 17, 2015 By Jackie Strawbridge
A plan to build a dog run under the Triboro/RFK Bridge has gotten a significant boost, with $1 million secured for its completion.
Many Astoria dog owners have been anticipating this new project since it was voted one of the winning items of Councilman Costa Constantinides’ Participatory Budgeting process.
Participatory Budgeting allows the public to decide how $1 million will be spent throughout the district. Astorians voted to spend part of this money on school upgrades, and $500,000 on building a dog run under the Triboro/RFK bridge, at Hoyt Avenue between 23rd Street and 24th Street.
Nearly 800 people voted for this item during Participatory Budgeting, according to a release from the Councilman’s office.
Following the PB vote, an additional $500,000 were secured by State Sen. Michael Gianaris and Borough President Melinda Katz, bringing the total funding for an Astoria dog run up to $1 million.
“This lot will be a designated place where dogs can play safely and share full enjoyment with their owners,” Constantinides said. “I am especially proud to know that our residents selected this project through Participatory Budgeting and that the community showed support for it. I thank Borough President Melinda Katz and Senator Gianaris for additional funding that will add to the features at the site.”
Gianaris said he felt compelled to support this project due to what he sees as high demand.
“Dog owners are moving into Western Queens, and while we’ve established incredible state of the art dog runs in Long Island City, Astoria has been trailing in terms of infrastructure,” he said. “You saw from the Participatory Budgeting process that the Councilman had, that [the dog run] was a very desired and popular agenda item.”
There are four dog runs in Long Island City’s Hunters Point neighborhood and a fifth on the way.
However Astoria dog owners have been relying on off-leash time at Astoria Park, or on Bugsy’s Dog Run – a notoriously small and dilapidated run near the park.
Bill Peloquin of the Astoria Dog Owners Association said he is “really excited” about the new funding.
“Having double what we were getting is amazing, and I think it’s really going to enable us to get a lot of the things that we feel are really necessary to have the best park we can have,” he said.
Features the ADOA hopes to see at the dog run include a double gate to prevent dogs from slipping out when somebody enters the park, a water feature for dogs to drink and a trash receptacle.
A timeline on the design and construction of the dog park will be under the jurisdiction of the Parks Department.
What a waste of our dollars
They could have converted part of this into more parking and turned a portion into a dog run.
i’d never even want to bring my dog over here under this bridge. it’s a filthy area.
The site chosen has been a wasted, unused eyesore for years upon years. I’m happy that this perfectly suited, sheltered, parcel of land is being re-imagined as a beautiful dog run. Not only is it fantastic for the dogs, but these special places become social centers for neighbors to meet and talk. For a community as large as ours to not have a dog run is an embarrassment. Let’s build a world-class facility and have yet another neighborhood jewel to be proud of. I’m all for the investment as it will yield incalculable benefits.
I grew up across the street. I’m sure the dog owners will pick up their ‘poop’. However, the urine can’t be “picked up” and I know that mother nature (rain) doesn’t hit the asphalt there. We played ball there as kids. We had the original astrodome. It’s going to smell to the high heavens!
Consider the opportunity cost. That 500k could have bought some solar panels to lessen our carbon footprint or built a community garden.
I should a voted against this dog thing. But I was too busy buying Lotto scratch offs.
What’s really sad is that it only took 800 votes for this to be a winner. How many people with children in area schools didn’t vote at all? It’s a joke that this project was included at all.
Why do people in cities get dogs and then expect public money to be used to provide space for them to run around in?
I don’t think many, if any, of the people that would be using this dog run are the type to expect it. People voiced their opinions, the opportunity presented itself, and the majority won.
I question the people whom have financial difficulty providing for themselves that then decide to have children and expect public funding to feed, clothe, shelter (rent) and medicate their children. Don’t get me started on the ones that show up to the animal clinic with their kids in tow and pets as well, expecting free animal care services because they receive public assistance…yes, they really do.
i rather see public funding (one million dollars in this case) to feed, clothe, shelter (rent) and medicate children then wasting it on a dog run!
I’m all for the dog run. I love dogs and I think they need their space in such a congested city, but spending $1million? To do what exactly? throw dirt on the ground and some signs?
At least the dog run is not in Astoria park! Imagine the daily parade of dogs on the way to this place…Oh the sound of barking dogs, the smell of urine and fresh poop lol
What a waste of money
Some schools still have kids learning in trailers rather than a real school building but the dogs get their own park, geniuses.
This is the dumbest way to spend taxpayer money! And I own a dog!
How INSANE is this? Just to please the YUPPIES who have moved here.
From what I see in Astoria, the amount of dog waste left on the street is obnoxious and gross. Hopefully, they will at least equip the surrounding neighborhood with signs/posts that deter negligent pet owners if they fail to pick up pet waste and promote keeping dogs on a leash!! I do not have a problem with dogs, but improving the way dog owners handle their pets and pet waste should be a priority.
This is an absurd amount to spend on aa dog run! 500k is absurd, but to double it?!