City proposes moving Mt. Washington dog park
Mayor Bill Peduto on Wednesday announced a “compromise” in a flap over a controversial Mt. Washington dog park, but neighbors and dog owners said they have mixed feelings about the proposed changes.
At issue is a fenced-in portion of Olympia Park that the city spent $60,000 to build in 2012 for dog owners who wanted a place where it's safe to allow their pets to roam off leash.
But neighbors have been feuding with park users, complaining about the noise of barking dogs, odors and rude dog walkers. They say the dog park is too close to their homes.
Peduto wants to relocate the dog park to wooded trails next to Olympia Park, but it isn't clear whether it would have a fence.
“I realize that many people in Mt. Washington wanted a dog park removed from the community, but today my administration announced a compromise that will let one stay,” the mayor said in a statement.
Opponents say they fear the neighborhood could be losing a contained area where dogs can run free. They say the existing park provides a place for neighbors to socialize while their pets frolic. Eliminating it will be a hardship for senior citizens who can't traverse trails and others who are hesitant to visit an unlit, wooded area at night.
“They gave us their word that there would be a dog park in Mt. Washington,” said Adam Paul Causgrove, 30, of Mt. Washington, a dog owner who helped get the dog park built. “Lo and behold, they're ripping up a fence and shoving people into the woods. If you want to take them off leash, good luck, because who knows if you're going to find deer and turkeys and your dog is going to run off.”
Peduto spokesman Tim McNulty said the administration won't decide whether to put a fence in the new area — or remove the existing one — until it studies other dog parks. There are dog parks in the South Side, Riverview Park, Frick Park and Lawrenceville. The Mt. Washington park will remain open until changes are made, McNulty said.
Patricia Ward, 58, who lives across the street from Olympia Park, said she and her neighbors welcome the news. She said she hopes the fence is removed permanently.
“It got out of control, and it became a real community issue,” she said. “We all love dogs. I have two. We just thought it was a bad location.”
City Councilwoman Theresa Kail-Smith of Westwood, who represents Mt. Washington, said disagreements about the dog park have divided the neighborhood. Kail-Smith said she hopes the new park will mend rifts.
“There's a lot of people that really love that park, and they are the kind of people that we want to live in Pittsburgh,” she said. “We should continue to work with the public and come up with a plan for a really great dog park there.”
Bob Bauder is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-765-2312 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Baldwin students take in film on Nobel Peace Prize winner’s activism for girls, education
- Pittsburgh zoo receives $9M gift — largest ever — from Mellon Foundation
- Newsmaker: Sanford Asher
- Downtown Pittsburgh Macy’s donates bits of history
- Suit seeks $5M from McKeesport authority
- Waivers granted for Garden Theater block development
- Bishop Zubik visits Mooncrest Community Center
- Pittsburgh International Airport to focus on attracting new airlines, increase facility’s usage
- North Hills transit service limits lamented
- Founder of Operation Safety Net in Pittsburgh named one of CNN’s 2015 Top 10 Heroes
- Upper St. Clair lifeguard ordered to stand trial for rape of female lifeguard