Dog parks: only fair or favoritism?
FACE-OFF • Amid the clamoring for spots to run our four-legged residents, questions arise
I love dogs. But Portland can't be all things to
all people, nor to all
In fact, city officials make a serious mistake when they attempt to meet all of the needs of residents. Doing so sets the city up to be accused of favoring certain groups.
Kate wants more space set aside for dogs. I'm sure that mountain bikers want more trails set aside, too. Add to that skateboarders, model airplane pilots and joggers. Not to mention families with small children who would tell you that their needs are not compatible with any of the above. People who like horses would probably like some areas, too: Manhattan has places to ride horses in Central Park, and Portland's Forest Park is far larger. But it can't be done in the space that's available.
Space is at a premium in most neighborhoods in this the city, and Portland's crazy 'high density' policies promise to exacerbate the situation. Cramming more people into neighborhoods puts pressure on parks and every other public facility.
Imagine what the wear and tear on your home would be if you crammed in twice as many people as it was designed to hold.
Adding dogs to nondog parks already overcrowded by the city's wrongheaded policies will only create new opportunities for conflict.
In the more than 20 years I've been a reporter in this city, dog parks have become an issue only in the last seven years or so. The reason? The city has been cramming far too many people (and their dogs) into far too small a space.