City Council will vote tonight on an ordinance to lift the ban on dogs in Byrd Park (or so I hear). I’ve never really understood the law. Where else can Byrd Park residents take our dogs on walks? The Downtown Expressway? And isn’t it kinda hypocritical to bring in border collies every other week to chase off the geese, but call neighborhood dog-walking (with leashes) an illegal act?
Here’s the message that I just sent to Bill Pantele, City Council President (firstname.lastname@example.org) and E. Marty Jewel, 5th District Councilman
(Marty.Jewell@Richmondgov.com). My message is a little flip, but honest. At least I did my civic duty. Maybe you should get in touch with your representative before the big vote as well.
I live a few blocks from Fountain and Swan Lakes and I enjoy walking my dogs around the park (on a leash and with plastic bags in hand). In the three and half years that I’ve lived here, I’ve ignored the ordinance that prohibits dogs in the park, considering it ridiculous. Some of my neighbors have done the same and report being harassed by police for walking their dogs in the park. The common reaction to this is, “don’t the police have anything more important to do?” Obviously, they do. I hope that you as elected officials and policy makers will change the policy to free up the police to fight crime and reinstate accessibility to the the great neighborhood resource that is Byrd Park.