The corner of Lakeshore and MacArthur is the wrong place for a dog run.

Right Idea, Wrong Place. Images of Astro Park today.
Photos of Astro Park, 2011

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Our Planning Code Does Not Support This Location

  • Astro Park is already a park with a range of current uses. New improvements are required to focus on underutilized space.
  • Astro Park is designated as a “gateway” to the larger Lake Merritt park area. Our code recommends fountains, public art and signage, not fenced dog areas.
  • Active recreation is a protected use and underserved at Lake Merritt. This dog run would take half of the usable playing field.

Dog Park Advocates Do Not Support This Location

COLA (a Seattle based dog owners group) gives the following recommendations for site selection:
  • Avoid interference with other established uses
  • Avoid locations directly abutting residences
  • Assure availability of close-by parking
  • Avoid locations near children’s play areas
  • Choose spots where there are minimal impacts on the visual character of a park
  • Avoid sites where there will be spill-over into non-dog areas
  • Avoid sensitive environmental habitats

We Oaklanders Do Not Support This Location (our summary position)

  • Astro Park is a well-loved, small neighborhood park. Preserving open space at this central location is our main priority.
  • We just invested $200 million in improving Lake Merritt. This is the gateway to Lake Merritt and fenced, brown space is just not appropriate.
  • A dog run with a small capital budget and a dubious maintenance strategy should be in a less visible location.

There Are Better Solutions for the Dog Community

There are better solutions to address the immediate needs of our dog community. Unfortunately, the currently proposed Lakeview Dog Play Area is a fundamentally flawed proposal driven by the pressure of the restrictive Oakland dog ordinances and increasing density in the area. The City of Oakland should consider revisiting on-leash dog rules at some Lake Merritt parks to take pressure off this immediate need. Additionally, there is an alternative dog run location that is proposed within Lakeside Park at the former Police Horse Stables. This unused area is a far better site for the Lake Merritt dog run and we would not oppose a dog run at that location.

Recent image from Ohlone dog run in Berkeley, map of proposed dog run location at Lakeshore and MacArthur
Photo taken at Ohlone Park in Berkeley, June 2011. Map from Google Maps.

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Grace Popple,
Jul 5, 2011, 5:56 PM