Update: CB2 Nixes Downtown Dog Run?

We earlier reported that Community Board 2 would consider at its meeting yesterday evening whether to establish a dog run in Downtown Brooklyn. The Board members decided to take a pass deferred action.

The Brooklyn Paper: Community Board 2 on Monday shot down a proposal to build a pooch pen somewhere in the booming residential neighborhood — in part because the area already has a few open spaces, but also because all those new Downtown residents need to wait their turn.

“Boerum Hill has been waiting for a dog run for more than 20 years?” said Parks Committee member Mary Goodman. “Why do we have to cater to all the new people and their dogs coming in?”

Update: Read Matthew Parker’s and Mary Goodman’s comments on this post for a different perspective on CB2’s position and on Ms. Goodman’s remarks at yesterday’s meeting.

Share this Story:

, ,

  • XYZ

    Nice attitude Mrs. Goodman.Would not have expected to hear that from a dog owner.

  • Heights Mom

    If the space is available and it’s doable, why not do it in both Boerum Hill and Downtown? Why has Boerum Hill been waiting 20 years anyway?

  • Matthew Parker


    I attended this meeting last night. The Brooklyn Paper story is misleading and fundamentally incorrect–especially regarding “nixing” a downtown dog run. Also, Mary’s quote is taken way out of context in this article.

    On the contrary, Michael Weiss, the MetroTech BID representative, and the CB will continue exploring options for one or more dog runs in the Flatbush corridor over the next few weeks. The CB did NOT “nix” the idea of exploring one or more dog runs for the increasing population of the Downtown area.

    Regarding Mary Goodman’s quote, pulled way out of context: Mary was correctly pointing out to the CB members and the BID representative that there have been many (failed) attempts at building a dog run for the Downtown/Boerum Hill/Cobble Hill neighborhoods for 20 years. Mary was making an argument for changing the site search for a Downtown dog run away from the Columbus Park/Cadman area (which is already in relatively close proximity to Cadman’s 9-9 offleash hours and Hillside Park) which some on the CB and the BID representative were proposing, and focus insted on bringing a dog run to an area that has no options currently, and that can serve more dog run users.

    That area would be further south closer to Boreum Hill and the new Flatbush corridor, rather than simply catering to the new half-full high rises. The high rise residents would still be able to use a new run, but more people would be closer to the site. Mary is looking to maximize the usage of the run in a more underserved area.

    Word to the wise: Don’t rely on the Brooklyn Paper for accurate news reporting. I’ve seen them over the years make too many mistakes, run sloppy reporting, and often their reporters misrepresent “evidence” to back up their a priori conclusions.

  • Mary Goodman

    Unfortunately, Andrew Campbell did not get his facts straight before he wrote. The Parks Committee DID NOT NIX A NEW DOG RUN. I DID NOT SAY “NO” to a new dog run. I want to see a new dog run built that serves the occupants of the new buildings and current dog owners who have no dog nearby run — people and their dogs in Boerum Hill and Cobble Hill.

    The BID’s proposed locations are too close to an area that already has 4 dog spaces: Hillside Dog Park, Cadman Plaza North off-leash hours, and a little further away the State Street/Palmetto Park dog run and the Brooklyn Bridge Park Dog Run.

    The location in McLaughlin Park is slated to become a community garden and has been planned and designed for years. It is not “unused.” In addition, long narrow spaces are ill-suited to dog runs — the dogs are more likely to get into scuffles and general trouble. Does Mr Campbell know anything about how dogs tend to behave in a run? I guess not.

    Why wasn’t Mr Campbell accurate about our consideration of a space that’s more equidistant from these new developments and Boerum Hill — like the 16 Sycamores handball court on Schermerhorn St, which I believe to be little-used, or the parking lot near Flatbush and State? Boerum Hill has needed a dog run for years — and no, I don’t live there. Was Mr Campbell aware that this was discussed in the meeting? I guess not.

    Open space is scarce in NYC, especially in Brooklyn, which is the most under-parked borough. Shoudn’t we use space that will serve the largest number dog-owning residents? In Mr. Campbell’s opnion, I guess not.

    Does Mr Campbell know anything about this topic? Did he consider reporting what actually occurred at the meeting? I guess not.

    I can’t write any more about this right now because I have to walk half a mile, each way, to take my dogs for a run in Hillside Park. Some people have to go much further. Does Mr Campbell comprehend that fact? I guess not.

  • Matthew Parker

    Michael Weiss, the MetroTech BID representative at the meeting last night also posted to the Brooklyn Paper’s comment section that Andy Campbell, the reporter, got it wrong about the CB “nixing” a Downtown Dog Run proposal.

  • Mary Goodman

    Jus to be clear, I am not officially empowered to speak for CB2 or its committees — that’s for the District Manager and Chairperson to do. I am,however, representing the tenor of the meeting as honestly and accurately as I possibly can. Mr. Parker, and Mr Weiss on the Brooklyn Paper’s site, are doing the same, IMHO.

  • Matthew Parker


    Thanks for making the factual corrections. It’s nice to see the Brooklyn Heights Blog has much higher journalistic standards and dedication to accurate reportage than the so-called “Brooklyn Paper”.

  • william

    I have to agree with the other posters that the Brooklyn Heights Blog has the highest standards of honest reporting in the ‘Hood these days. After selling-out to Rupert Murdock, the Brooklyn Paper has lost it’s way. The Brooklyn Eagle/Heights Press is the pits.

  • Francesca

    I was there and I agree with all the postings BUT Downtown Brooklyn does need a dog run- all the surrounding communities have one or two or more, plus we are hindered by dangerous major street crossings. Flatbush Ave.(On going construction) Tillary, and Brooklyn Bridge Ave..

    The bottom line is we have no supermarkets, no schools, no dog runs – no community!

    The residential developers only thought of their wallets and not the well being of the people that they are renting or selling to!!

  • Mary Goodman

    Francesca, I’m afraid the major street crossings in Downtown Brooklyn are a just a fact of lifefor all of us. I do also think that developers should not be allowed to build without enforceable contracts that make them supply the appropriate open space and infrastructure for their new residents. This is being done, I believe, in other parts of the country. The “build it all, all the time” ways of NYC’s current mayoral administration preclude such community-building measures here.

    I must still point out, though, that there ARE dog runs in walking distance of your area, albeit with a big street to cross. Long-term (and this is very long-term) a pedestrian bridge such as those over the BQE in Cobble Hill might be a good way to get people over the big thoroughfares. But to get to the Brooklyn Bridge Park or State Street runs the only big street you have to cross is Boerum Place, aka Adams Street, right?

    I think that going 5 or 6 blocks east on Lawrence Street, which becomes Willoughby St, leads you directly into Fort Greene Park. Fort Greene has off-leash hours every day, and it is also of course just a few blocks from the new apt building on DeKalb, whose name eludes me now.

    More dog run space is needed, especially in the Downtown/Boerum Hill/Atlantic Avenue area. Dog runs need to be better recognized as legitimate form of recognition, and as community-builders in themselves. That would be good for all dog owners.