With all its problems, New York is a well-run city that keeps coming up with really creative public policy. My favorite is the dog program that allows pooches off-leash in the big parks from 9PM to 9AM: not to mention happier dogs, this populates the parks in the evening, and lets you run your dog in the morning before work so he doesn’t bark during the day and bother the neighbors.

We woke up to a less-than-historic but still meaningful (6″) snowstorm in New York wondering what it would be like to be out and about. Well, the city has both improved plow management and put itself on line for oversight by citizens with this neat implementation of GIS and real-time plow tracking. Nice.


  1. NCG says

    Hmm. As a person who likes dogs but can’t stand “dog people” (who are those who think their pets have human rights — as opposed to normal dog owners/guardians/whatever, who are responsible and behave normally), count me a skeptic.

    If it’s dark out, how can you be sure if you’re picking up the poop? And how does it work when someone gets bit and sues the city? It’s not like you can chase down the dog and hand him your complaint. Unfortunately, these rules are great for people who behave well and don’t need rules, but I would be amazed to see if they work for everyone. How could that be?

  2. LizardBreath says

    I used to be an NYC dog-owner (still in NYC, but she died of old age last spring), and neither one of those are really a problem. Dark isn’t dark in the city — pretty much everywhere, there are enough streetlights that you can see well enough to pick up dog poop. No guarantee that everyone does, but night or day isn’t an issue. And the thing about 9pm to 9am is that those are really low use hours for parks generally. Little kids are in bed or not out yet, and even older kids and adults don’t really use the parks at night or before work in the morning. A dog bite incident is possible, of course, but the scheduling makes it unlikely. (And most dogs, even offleash, are close enough to their owners that you could figure out who to complain to about the dog misbehaving. If someone has their dog not only off leash, but literally out of their sight, in a city park, they’re irresponsible enough that a rule letting them have the dog off leash isn’t the problem — they’d be doing something screwy whatever the rules were.)

    • NCG says

      Sorry about your dog! I like dogs, I do. It’s their people who often annoy the hooey out of me.

      I hope you’re right, but ime, most dogs aren’t that well-trained and I don’t feel that comfortable being around them unleashed. They may or may not come when called by their human.

      Nor do I feel off-leash is so necessary. And I only like to be outside during non-hot hours, which means early day or night.

      However, if New Yorkers are okay with this, that’s great for them.