We've heard some myths about these plans and we'd like to bust them for you now:
Myth #1: There was lots of public consultation
Truth: There has been inadequate public consultation, and most of it was long ago, since when the space, the residents, and the needs have changed
Well, as we go around and talk to people in Oakland and in this neighborhood, time and time again it seems the consultation didn't reach the residents of the area, the users of the park, and the business owners around the park. Just who did they consult? When we pulled the documents from cited "consultation" efforts, we found examples of only 99 comments across a wide range of economic issues (not just dog runs).
Myth #2: The dog run takes up "only 13%" of the park space
Truth: The planned dog run takes up about a half of the relevant space near the library
We are not sure exactly what park area is being measured when the "13%" figure is quoted. It seems it's an area including the library buildings, the library road and parking, the area by the library front steps, and the tot lot. Take a look at our Maps of the proposed dog run to see the real impact of the dog run on the space around it. Practically speaking, it would take up about half of the "playable" space in the park next to the library.
Myth #3: The dog run will be pretty and green
Truth: The dog run will be dusty and brown
We've seen those appealing green-colored maps too. Sadly, a covering of grass cannot survive a concerted attack from many dogs day in, day out, and certainly not without a great deal of chemical treatment with lime and continual repair. Dogs dig, and dogs pee - and that pee is acid and turns grass yellow, and it then dies away. The plan calls for the dumping of wood chips over the area, to be topped up over time. The bark chips harbor ticks and other creatures and in dry weather generate dust. They are generally "wood brown" so over (quite a short) time the area will look more and more - brown.
Myth #4: This isn't going to impact Oakland's budget at all
Truth: Building the dog run costs some money; maintaining it costs much more - and it's not in any budget!
It will cost about $35,000 to put the planned dog run in - Oakland City funds are involved (it's all our tax money, right?). Repairs to fences and soil, replenishment of bark chips, liming of the ground, replacement of damaged trees costs more (and it's not budgeted anywhere). And then there's the liability risk from future lawsuits from traffic accidents with dogs being walked across the busy roads into and out of the dog run, or getting involved with children at the Tot Lot next door. All unbudgeted.
Myth #5: There won't be any impact on parking
Have you tried to park outside Zza's or Sidebar or Gold's Gym or the Library on an evening or weekend recently? Tough, isn't it? And have you seen how people arrive at other dog parks in the Bay Area? Yes, they drive. So what does this mean? More cars fighting for fewer spaces. Why fewer spaces? Because spaces nearest the entrance to the proposed dog run will be removed, for access for utility vehicles, and to ease AC Transit bus navigation of the new driveway that would be in place.
Heard any other myths lately? Come and bust 'em over on our Facebook page