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Add your comment on this item1 
Comments for item 1
01:10 PM ET (US)
Regarding item 1
...thought I already posted this.....who decides what pictures are used on the site? I'd really be glad to pose my doggie off leash....(Everyone who matters already knows that I run him off leash)...so I have no problem with it at all. I do, however, have a problem with the fact that my butt (can I say butt?) is in one of the pictures. The shot was taken from behind (obviously), and it's not very flattering.
01:15 PM ET (US)
Regarding item 1
It's a dog "run," not a dog "park."
Proposed Dog Park for District 9, San Jose

Add your comment on this item2 
Comments for item 2
David WeinbergerPerson was signed in when posted
08:49 AM ET (US)
Regarding item 2
"The Tragedy of the Poopy Commons"
Tragedy of the Commons

Add your comment on this item3 The shared use of common land is a thorny problem in economics. The classic case cited is grazing animals on a common - each person has an incentive to graze more animals than the land can support. Rules need to be established to ensure that people do not use more than their fair share of the common resource.

Loose dogs on basketball court

Add your comment on this item4  Parks have a more complex version of this same problem - there are many possible uses for a park, and rules are necessary to avoid one use from taking up more than its fair share. Some activities have bad consequences for other users - driving off-road vehicles over the grassy areas will likely damage them enough to prevent use for sports, for example, so this activity is banned.

Add your comment on this item5  Dogs in parks present problems of this nature in several ways.

Large loose dog

Add your comment on this item6 
Comments for item 6
I support Kirk Dog Park
05:00 PM ET (US)
Regarding item 6
How dare you assume what a dog owner will or won't admit to. Until you actually OWN a dog, you should keep your assumptions to yourself.
Kevin MarksPerson was signed in when posted
05:57 PM ET (US)
Regarding item 6
I have owned dogs, and walked them in all kinds of weather. There is palpable relief when they finally do relieve themselves.

Who's making assumptions here?
02:51 PM ET (US)
Regarding item 6
The primary reason is to get the dog to relieve itself? Who gave you that info?? Whatever happened to walking your dog to exersize it?...get exersize yourself?....train your dog?
What's everyone got again's "large, loose" dogs? What about the smaller dogs? Why the need to blame every bad dog experience on big dogs? If it's running at you, a small dog is just as scary as a large dog to a small child. (Well, they were to me.) About the bicycles - they aren't allowed at the park any more than loose dogs are. There are signs with this information all over the park...why isn't anyone complaining about people breaking that law?
Kevin MarksPerson was signed in when posted
03:09 PM ET (US)
Regarding item 6
When it's pouring with rain, and the dog is scratching at the door, do you go out for exercise, or the dog's relief?
Large dogs are objectively more frightening than small. My son was knocked off his bicycle by a loose Great Dane, whereas a Chihuahua would likely not have managed it. My friend whose beagle was badly mauled by a loose pit bull, and who broke his arm fighting it off would not have been similarly injured by a Yorkshire terrier.
Bicycles are permitted in the park as a whole; they are just prohibited near the Kirk Centre buildings, again a rule enforced with sensible leeway.
12:44 PM ET (US)
Regarding item 6
When it's raining outside and Fido (not really his name) needs to go outside, he goes into the back yard. He is walked at the park every day, rain or shine, so I simply don't feel the need to grab a leash and head for the park every time he needs to relieve himself.
I agree that a small dog can't knock a child off of a bike. What I was saying was that small dogs are just as bad as large dogs if they're aggressive. I'm not saying that size doesn't matter, I'm just saying that the potential for a serious problem is there, even if the dog only weighs ten pounds.
The most pressing one is that of excrement. Anyone who has ever owned a dog will admit that the primary purpose of the daily walk is to get the dog to defecate outside the house. As a build-up of dog excrement will rapidly make the Park unpleasant and unsanitary for other users, there are strict rules that dog owners should clean up after their dogs.

Dog loose in picnic area

Add your comment on this item7  Dogs that run loose present other problems - they may attack or mate with one another, run in packs, or harry small children. Accordingly, there are rules that dogs in parks should remain leashed at all times. Like any reasonably applied rule, there is a little leeway here, and individual well-behaved dogs sometimes run loose when other park users aren't nearby, but this leeway can be abused.

Add your comment on this item8 
Comments for item 8
Martin Roell
02:59 AM ET (US)
Regarding item 8
This is a very strong argument I think: It is sufficient for a citizen to have *one* bad experience in the park to make him never come again. And as there will always be people who don't clean up their dogs' mess or let them run loose, you will almost certainly have people that are affected by this.
It doesn't take many violations of these rules to create an adverse effect. If you've slipped on a turd running for home plate or diving to save a goal, or had your toddler knocked of his bicycle by a large, loose dog (even if 'he's just being friendly'), it creates a strong deterrent against using that park again.

Add your comment on this item9  Segregating dogs into their own separate area is a viable solution, but because of the broad adverse effects of even a few extra violations on other park users, care needs to be taken to ensure that these possibilities are minimized.

Two loose dogs pass a pram

Dogs loose at night

Add your comment on this item10 Selection Criteria

Add your comment on this item11 The following should be considered when choosing a site

Add your comment on this item12  Area not used for community activities

Add your comment on this item13 
Comments for item 13
David WeinbergerPerson was signed in when posted
08:52 AM ET (US)
Regarding item 13
I'd take out the "If possible." Leaving it in raises the thorny issue of why dogs should get land otherwise used by humans. Taking it out says that the dog run would make use of unused capacity and removes the issue.
If possible, the dog park area should not reduce the available area for other uses. In particular, reducing grass area is unnecessary, as most successful dog parks use a non-grass surface, for better hygiene. See these photographs of the Las Palmas dog park in Sunnyvale and Miyuki Park in San Jose.

Las Palmas Dog Park, Sunnyvale

Add your comment on this item14 Safe access for dogs and owners

Add your comment on this item15 
Comments for item 15
01:04 PM ET (US)
Regarding item 15
I know I should be commenting on the info about Branham and Doerr park, but I just had to say something: The dog next to the text is ADORABLE!
Dogs and owners should be able to enter the dog area with minimum disturbance to other park users - having it directly adjacent to a parking area or park entrance is good here; this reduces the chance of clashes with other users

A dog in Miyuki Dog Park

Add your comment on this item16 Away from housing so that noise nuisance is not caused

Add your comment on this item17 While anyone living adjacent to a park can expect some noise, the baying and howling of dogs playing in a pack can carry further than people playing, and as this advice from the Hellyer dog park fan web site shows, fights are expected:

DO NOT bring nice dog toys with you because majority of the dog fights are happened over the toy. Be careful about bringing dog treats to the park, some dogs there are very food motivated and may start fight over the treat. So, use your common sense when using this dog enclosure and you will love to come back again and again.

Add your comment on this item18 Accessible for District 9 - parking needed

Add your comment on this item19 As this park is planned for the whole of District 9, it is likely to attract dog owners who drive to the Park, and thus put extra strain on parking facilities, so having adequate spaces nearby is important. In addition, the possible congestion caused by an influx of dog-bearing cars should be considered too.

Add your comment on this item20 Possible Sites

Add your comment on this item21 Doerr Park

Add your comment on this item22 At first, Doerr Park looks like an ideal location for the District 9 Dog Park. The long corridor of grassland highlighted in yellow in the Aerial photo is under a row of pylons, and is quite well separated from the rest of the park. It could easily be converted by fencing off each end, as there are existing fences on both sides, and it is already used for dogs to run in.

The path under the pylons at Doerr Park
Add your comment on this item23 However, the strip in question backs on to several houses, and would create a significant nuisance for the residents. In addition, parking at the park is on-street only, and is not adjacent to this section, so would require dog owners to walk past all the other activities in the park to reach the run.

Houses with gates onto Doerr park
Aerial photo of Doerr Park

Add your comment on this item24 Branham Park

Add your comment on this item25 Branham Park is smaller than Doerr park, but it is also less busy. It has a large grassy area, a children's playground near to the adjacent houses, and a small picnic area. However, is also has a large, unused section of scrubland, highlighted in yellow on the aerial photo. Unused scrub land in the north-west corner of Branham Park
Add your comment on this item26 This is bordered by the river bed on the north and by the Safeway car park on the west, and so does not abut any houses.Aerial photo of Branham Park

The gate between Branham park and the neighboring shops.
Add your comment on this item27 
Comments for item 27
Martin Roell
03:02 AM ET (US)
Regarding item 27
Looks like a good advertising-opportunity for Safeway's dogfood. ;-)
The objection may be made that this is in the far corner of the park, and would require dog owners to walk past the other areas, but in fact it is accessible from the shopping center car park through an existing gate.
Add your comment on this item28  The parking spaces in the shopping center can continue to act as overflow for the on-street parking on the east side of the park.

Add your comment on this item29 Camden Park

Large open space next to car parkAerial photo of Camden Park
Add your comment on this item30 
Comments for item 30
Martin Roell
03:05 AM ET (US)
Regarding item 30
To make this more clear you should perhaps give one or two examples of areas in the park that are suitable and mark them on the map.
01:05 PM ET (US)
Regarding item 30
The Camden meeting was last night...hardly any people there! The run was mentioned, and the Parks person (forgot his name) inferred that the run would be at Camden.
Camden is very large, and has a lot of parking spaces available. It is free of houses on every side but the west, and there are many suitable areas that could be turned into a dog park, and still leave a very large grassed area.
Open space in corner awy from housing

Add your comment on this item31 Roy Butcher Park

Add your comment on this item32 Roy Butcher Park is heavily used for baseball and has houses close on three sides. The only viable site would be on the main road side as indicated. Parking is on-street only, which may be problematic. Aerial photo of Roy Butcher Park

Add your comment on this item33 
Comments for item 33
01:07 PM ET (US)
Regarding item 33
There are a TON of people who bring their dogs to Kirk Park. I am one of the many. (The Shepherd mix is mine.) Kirk Park REALLY needs a dog run. There are dogs there every night, and if there was a run, people would not let their dogs off leash outside of it - there would be no reason to.
02:43 PM ET (US)
Regarding item 33
.......me again! Well, it's down to two parks! Either Kirk or Camden.
Kevin MarksPerson was signed in when posted
02:48 PM ET (US)
Regarding item 33
I know it is. And it seem clear to me that Camden is a better choice, for all the reasons stated here.

Where in Kirk do you propose putting this Dog Park? Is there somewhere it could go without reducing the effective useful area of the park for other uses?
Edited 05-15-2003 03:12 PM
12:50 PM ET (US)
Regarding item 33
It's a dog run, not a dog park - it would be a quarter of an acre or less. I think that the small area next to the basketball courts would be great. I've lived here for a year and I've only seen people without dogs there three times. Two times looked like a party, and the other was a basketball player getting his ball after it bounced onto the grass. People are already there every night, and no one has ever asked me if I would leave so they could use it for something like soccer or frisbee.
Kirk Park

Add your comment on this item34 Kirk Park is a small park, and a very busy one. The grassed area is relatively small, and is divided into two sections, a large one at the east, and a small one in the north west, behind the popular basketball courts. It is quite common for both of these areas to be occupied by different activities - in summer Soccer pitches are marked out at weekends, and two simultaneous games go on in the large grassed area, while the next two teams train in the smaller area to the west. This week there were two baseball training session going on the large area concurrently with the children's Kickball on the west lawn.Two games of baseball and one of Kickball simultaneously
Add your comment on this item35 Because of the Kirk Community Center, there are usually a lot of cars parked in the two parking lots. Houses adjoin the park directly on the north and west, and are separated from the park by Foxworthy Avenue to the south and Briarwood Avenue to the east. The children's playground on the east side is currently being renovated at a cost of $250,000, and when completed is likely to attract more children and parents to the park. The picnic area beside the play area is often used for children's parties in the Summer months. The upcoming development of apartments on the nearby Hacienda Gardens site is likely to bring even more visitors to this neighborhood park. Aerial photo of Kirk Park
Add your comment on this item36 
Comments for item 36
Simon JF
04:37 PM ET (US)
Regarding item 36
I think you mean "manyfold" or perhaps "manifest".
02:41 PM ET (US)
Regarding item 36
Manifest can be used in that context? Wow...you really do learn something new every day!
With all these manifold uses and constraints it is hard to see how a dog park could fit in as well. The west lawn (outlined in red) that has been suggested is unsuitable on several grounds mentioned above - it is directly adjacent to 7 houses, is in frequent use for communal activities (it is about 20% of the usable grassed area for team sports). It is not close to the parking area; dogs would need to be brought past the basketball court to it. Perhaps the only area that could be repurposed as a dog park is the lawn outside the Kirk Community Center (highlighted in yellow), as it has adjacent parking, and does not abut any houses.
Cricket on the west lawn

Add your comment on this item37 Conclusion

Add your comment on this item38 
Comments for item 38
Kevin MarksPerson was signed in when posted
06:38 PM ET (US)
Regarding item 38
Typo -should be ' Doerr, Roy Butcher and Kirk are...'
It is for the council to decide the relative merits of these different parks, but to us Branham looks like the site that can be converted with the least expense and least inconvenience to existing park users. Camden is also a strong candidate, as it has a lot of open grassland, but would require more fencing. Doerr, Roy Butcher Kirk are poor choices because of the proximity of housing and heavy existing park utilization.

Add your comment on this item39 Kevin and Rosemary Marks, March 2003

Add your comment on this item40 email us with comments

Local children petitioning to keep the west lawn for sportsSome people break all the rules.
Add your comment on this item41 
Comments for item 41
01:13 PM ET (US)
Regarding item 41
I've never seen the signs. The only signs I've ever seen in the neighborhood concerning the dog run have been mine. Why didn't I get a copy? I'm starting to feel a tad bit left out!
Local children petition to keep the west lawn of Kirk Park for sports
Add your comment on this item42 
Comments for item 42
Martin Roell
03:08 AM ET (US)
Regarding item 42
Perhaps you should try to see if you can get hold of some statistics for your town about how many accidents occur due to dogs that are not on leash.
Kevin MarksPerson was signed in when posted
08:26 AM ET (US)
Regarding item 42
Not sure if they are kept - all journalists are told that 'dog bites man' is not news, but 'man bites dog' is.
Edited 03-28-2003 06:47 AM
Kevin MarksPerson was signed in when posted
08:33 AM ET (US)
Regarding item 42
Some national figures:
Estimates 333,687 ER visits and 17 deaths per year

Annually in the United States 4.7 million people are bitten by dogs. Of these, approximately 800,000 people require medical attention. That is, each year 1.8% of the U.S. population is bitten by a dog, and 0.3% of the U.S. population seeks medical care for a bite.

585,000 dog bites requiring medical attention in 1986. Dog bites were the 12th leading cause of non-fatal injuries for all age groups in the United States.

All from http://www.cdc.gov/ncipc/duip/dogbites.htm
I support Kirk Dog Park
05:03 PM ET (US)
Regarding item 42
This photo just shows why having a legitimate, enclosed, dog park at Kirk is GOOD IDEA.
Kevin MarksPerson was signed in when posted
05:44 PM ET (US)
Regarding item 42
You think that someone who seems to be trying to break all the by-laws at once by drinking alcohol while his dog runs loose is going to bother to go in the enclosure? Do you think he cleans up after his dog?
Edited 04-24-2003 05:58 PM
01:24 PM ET (US)
Regarding item 42
Hello again! I'm really beginning to like posting here! I might have to start comming by ever day to read the new info. About the "breaking the rules" comments - I, for one, try to limit the laws I break to one per day. (The law I break should be obvious.) : )
Kevin - who do you think DOES clean up after his dogs? The answer is: Me! Well, me and a lot of the other responsible dog owners who frequent the park. We don't like stepping in dog feces any more than you do..so what do we do?...or should the question be what DON'T we do? We don't sit around complaining about it. We fix it - grab a plastic bag, pick up the poop, and toss it in the trash can. I'm not sure about other people, but I don't do it just because I don't want people telling me to keep my dog on leash. I do it because I love Kirk and I want it to be clean for everyone. (Please don't think I'm trying to get recognition here..I'm simply trying to get my point across.) If you see someone breaking a law -like drinking in the park or running a dog off leash- tell them that you have a problem about it. Most, if not all, of the "dog people" will put their dog(s) on leash if you ask them to. I know I would, and I have. Now that I've gone off on several tangents, I think I'll stop for a while. Have a WONDERFUL day, all!
P.S.: Surely the man isn't breaking ALL of the by-laws...couldn't he be drinking and running his dog off leash after dark, when the park is closed??
Kevin MarksPerson was signed in when posted
02:58 PM ET (US)
Regarding item 42
I'm glad you like it - you can get new comments sent to you by email if you like (click on the 'comment forum' link on the main page, then click 'subscribe').
Emily, I know you clean up after your dogs. I clean up after other people's dogs too, checking out the baseball pitch before the children play on it, and hoping I find all the turds by eye rather than by foot.

As I said way back in paragraphs 7 & 8, there is always sensible leeway in enforcement of rules, and a few dog-owners who let dogs run free and clean up after them are not a problem, any more than a couple of people drinking beer or wine with their meal in the barbecue area are.

However, large numbers of dogs running loose in a pack do constitute a problem, and I certainly have experience of dog owners who become very abusive at the suggestion that they follow the by-laws more closely.
03:02 PM ET (US)
Regarding item 42
About the dog bites - How many of these bites are caused by loose dogs? Dogs are more likely to behave aggressively if they are on leash, because they know that they can't protect themselves as much as they would be able to if they were free. Also, while some dogs will chase people if they're running or riding a bike (something that instinct tells them to do), few will actually bite. As a person who has a lot of experience with dog bites, I can say that with most dog bites, the person is at fault.
03:05 PM ET (US)
Regarding item 42
I'm sorry that people have been mean to you when you asked them to leash their dogs...that's very rude of them.
Kevin MarksPerson was signed in when posted
03:28 PM ET (US)
Regarding item 42
More detailed dog bite statistics here:
Studies of dog bite injuries have reported that:

*The median age of patients bitten was 15 years, with children, especially boys aged 5 to 9 years, having the highest incidence rate
*The odds that a bite victim will be a child are 3.2 to 1. (CDC.)
*Children seen in emergency departments were more likely than older persons to be bitten on the face, neck, and head. 77% of injuries to children under 10 years old are facial.
*Severe injuries occur almost exclusively in children less than 10 years of age.
*The majority of dog attacks (61%) happen at home or in a familiar place. 
*The vast majority of biting dogs (77%) belong to the victim's family or a friend. 
*When a child less than 4 years old is the victim, the family dog was the attacker half the time (47%), and the attack almost always happened in the family home (90%). 

Nothing about loose versus tied dogs there, though if 75% of attacks are on children, and 77% are family or friend's dogs, and there are 4.7 million bites per year, that would be over 800,000 children bitten by stranger's dogs per year.
01:02 PM ET (US)
Regarding item 42
Yet another reason for the city to hurry up and put a few dog runs in! : ) Have you sent the city those stats?
Some people break all the rules.