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Original post made
on Feb 27, 2013
Another example of a want and not an immediate need. With a growing annual budget deficit and inability to pay for our essential infrastructure and public safety needs, our city leaders look ridiculous spinning their wheels on this type of capital improvement. Wake up and set some priorities already. Have your actions back up your rhetoric.
Adding a dog park would make this neighborhood park even more of a "drive to" destination park for the community and beyond.
This will not work with this location. There is very limited parking and that will cause parking to spill into the adjoining streets.
Why would be make parks that have no bathroom facilities and little parking into destination parks?
It only doesn't have bathroom facilities because the neighbors didn't want them!
While I appreciate the City's willingness to look at improvements to the Park, I'm strongly opposed to a dog park and the conversion of natural materials to 'additional surfaces'.
More trees -- resulting in more shade -- would be wise at the play structures. Limited improvements or changes to the 'bowl' seem wise.
But, the rest is just too much.
Are there studies on how many dog walkers would use a dog park? How many use the one at Hoover? I think it's cleaner for them to use people's lawns and our school lawns than using a dog park. This is a complete waste of money. They should use the money to enforce off-leash dogs at Jordan, the main library, Addison, Duveneck, and other schools where dogs leave their crap and shouldn't.
The city created the relatively new po$ition of City Land$cape Architect, and this employee is running around making new projects to justify the position. I doubt if the surrounding community wants a dog park in Eleanor Park!! There was no petition or outcry for it!! The green space is relatively small and can't accommodate any portion taken away. After school soccer teams play there, and there is also little kid baseball and other sports. City of Palo Alto - HANDS OFF our PARK.
Mr. Cao -- Get help.
PA Online -- Erase these disturbing rants.
A dog park north of Oregon Expressway? A bathroom in a neighborhood park north of Oregon Expressway? If my dog or I need to go, there is always south Palo Alto. That's why all that land was annexed by the city in the 1950s.
Once again, the City is overlooking the necessities, like infrastructure ( an embarrassment, currently) in favor of a wish list of pretty, fun things.
Take care of the really important needs first. Anyone with any common sense knows that!
Newsflash: The park is already used as a "dog park" every morning. Just drive by between sunrise and when people go to work. Plenty of folks and their dogs out there, blowing off the city leash law and running/fetching their dogs all over the main field area.
Why spend the money on a fenced dog park when the park has already gone to the dogs every morning???
And before anyone accuses me of being anti-dog...we own a dog. Appropriately sized for our yard. And we use a leash when we go out.
I see no need for this dog park there.
I am one of many dog walkers that walk around Pardee Park all the time.
There are often dogs off leash, playing ball and frolicking.
Having a leashed in area would help everyone in this neighborhood to WALK to a safe place to let our dogs off leash instead of driving to a dog park much further away.
As most other dog parks are much larger, I doubt it would become a magnet for drivers as much as a neighborhood resource for the many dog lovers in the area.
Feces are feces and I doubt dogs like it anymore than humans like it.
Eleanor Park is too small to put in a dog park without it taking over and creating so much noise and irritation that it bothers those without dogs ... and with dogs going to and from the area the amount of unpicked up dog poop and carefully dropped little blue plastic bags will increase, but by then it will be too late. Palo Alto is not an agricultural community, dogs really do not fit in anymore, even the little ones yap so much in such a high-density environment they bother lots of people. Put something like this out by the Baylands in its own area [portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]
But I am, however, strongly for restroom facilities for human beings in Eleanor Park ... it's just wrong not to have some kind of restrooms in park this size in a city of Palo Alto's level thinking that it will allow only neighboring who have houses nearby to use the park.
News flash to all NOO (north of Oregon) NIMBYS--there are MANY more dogs in Palo Alto now than in all of the 36 years I have lived here.
I don't see any more poop in Mitchell Park with its dog run than I see in other areas. A dog park is nice, but not for all dogs--some have issues that preclude free for all play, be the issues physical (arthritic) or mental. (bully, fearful) Reasonable leash law enforcement is good, although when a well-behaved considerate small group gets together to practice dog obedience skills, it might be nice for the ACO to recognize these are not out of control dogs who are running all over, pooping at random and cut them some slack! Go pick on the loose dogs behind Gunn!
A dog park at Pardee would be a wonderful thing. So many families have dogs in our area what could be nicer than having a great place for the dogs to play within walking distance of so many of our neighborhoods? Sometimes it seems people just feel obligated to object to any idea proposed. How frustrating for those who just want to get things done for us in our city,
It's true that Eleanor's family name was Pardee, but the park has always, until recently, been known as "Eleanor Park". The land and mansion on it were donated to the City by Mrs. Emily Pardee Dixon. Her first husband, Dr. E. H. Pardee, and their daughter, Nellie, who was 15, had both died in 1896. Mrs. Pardee later re-married and settled in Palo Alto, building on the land that later would become Eleanor Park. I think it would be great if the City would revert to emphasizing "Eleanor" in the park's name, consistent with Ellie's mother's wishes.
This kind of project is very low down the priorities list. If anything this is something residents don't want.
I wouldn't dislike dogs if their owners let the crap in their own yards instead of walking them to stimulate their bowels and leave feces on other people's property.
Two of three of my children have been victims of feces incidents at Jordan. One stepped into our car with dog feces on his shoes, and thee other fell during soccer and his hand fell in it, fortunately, at the end of practice.
Animal Control ought to ticket people for allowing their dogs to run off-leash at Jordan; it's a Go Dog Go party there every evening.
A dog park isn't going to change people's ways - dogs will still smear feces all over town.
Further plantings around the playgrounds seem wise, particularly given the recently removed large trees which long cast at-times-welcome shade on the primary play structure area.
A reduction of the water-use seems prudent.
Repaving of the path seems a wise safety improvement.
But, the dog park seems imprudent, of little benefit, and ill-suited to this particular park.
There is a huge need for a dog park in the north part of Palo Alto. Yes, many of us with dogs are letting them run off-leash in areas where they are supposed to stay on leash, but that's because the nearest off-leash parks would involve driving the dog to the south side of town.
I'd love to see a dog park at Pardee, in my neighborhood.
If the dog fanciers want to pay for building dog park, that would be fine but I don't want to pay for it.
And I don't appreciate the dogs defecating on my lawn or the person who deposits dog-do in my compost bin.
Talk about entitlement: "Yes, many of us with dogs are letting them run off-leash in areas where they are supposed to stay on leash, but that's because the nearest off-leash parks would involve driving the dog to the south side of town."
Sort of like: "Yes, it's illegal to rob a store but I did it because I needed money and my bank was closed."
@Huh? - As an owner of two dogs, it pains me when people don't pick up after their dogs, it's so irresponsible and puts all dog owners in a bad light. If nothing else, a dog park would be a good cover to then ban dogs from school grounds. But other than that, I don't see a reason to add a dog park to Pardee.
My sense is that the dogs would take over Eleanor Park if a dedicated dog section were installed. Loud barking, yapping.
People take their dogs on leash to the Baylands, which is fine, except I wish more would clean up after them there, too. These aren't necessarily Palo Alto dog owners there, of course, which leads me to think Eleanor Park would attract out of city dog owners and I am concerned about pit bulls. Who would regulate this?!
And yes, I am someone with a lawn who is occasionally victimized by negligent dog owners; please clean up after your dog, it's only common decency.
@Mr. Recycle: Re building a dog park then banning dogs from school grounds - great idea!
They should also be banned from going within 20 ft. from schools, although that would be difficult to enforce. There is often smeared dog feces on the sidewalk of our elementary school. There are even dogs defecating on the kindergarten lawn while we all are arriving at school.
My beagle and I have spent many quality hours navigating Eleanor Park. I used to let him frolic with the other off leash dogs, and changed my practice when my work schedule changed.
I have my own point of view about this idea, and I instead want to focus on how funding things like this take place. It does not come out of the general fund. It does not come from issuing new bonds. It comes from what is known as CIP (Capital Improvement Projects.)
CIP funds come from developers who construct new homes and buildings in Palo Alto, recognizing that the impact of new construction has implications for residents and public amenities that Palo Alto provides.
CIP funds are confined to very specific projects. Parks and parks improvements is a primary application of these funds.
CIP money cannot be used to fix roads, sidewalks, storm drains, and other such infrastucture projecs. Like it or not, park improvements, which are on a multi-year schedule to keep them upgraded and in best condition possible, are the main use of CIP funds.
( I will add that my entire neighborhood in getting ground up, has confusing detour signs, I have no idea what to expect week to week. This is a good thing. My and others' inconvenience will result in a greatly improved inftastructure throughout the City. This came about due to a bond measure passed by the voters a few years ago. We now need to make our elected officials and City man)agement accrue funds in a reserve going forward o make sure this situation does not happen again.)
Having just completed 9 years of service on the CPA Parks and Recreation Commission, I find tiresome polemics that demonstrate a lack of understanding of how things actually work. Sure we have major infrastructure problems that deserve priority. The voters have options in chossing their elected officials and ballot initiatives to decide how they want the City to operate.
Over coffee with people, I make the ironic comment that we have too many smart people in town. That is not the same as informed people in town. All our smart people can make eloquent arguments about just about anything going on in Palo Alto, taking one side or the other, often with a lack of understanding of the laws, city charters, and state requirements that must be navigated. I am not a big fan of many of these realiities, but to get things done, it is important to understand them, and change them as voters if we think things need changing.
Please, people, stop being so negative and grouchy. The Hoover dog park in Midtown is an example of a well used and well kept dog park. It would be lovely to have one nearby in our neighborhood. Palo Alto is a dog friendly city and
the addition of a local place to have owners and dogs meet is a good idea.
Thanks for explaining about how the CIP funds are used and where they come from.
Upgrading facilities is a worthwhile way to use the money that developers have to pay. However, these new developments do use our crumbling infrastructure also.
As for dog parks, why can't all neighborhoods have either a dog park or some off leash hours. As a former dog owner, I can't see any point in taking a dog in a car to drive across town to run off leash. It adds to traffic and to some extent defeats the purpose of exercise for both dog and owner. Most dog owners at dog parks get very little exercise from what I see as they are standing watching their dogs.
I would love to see some off leash hours at most parks. Off leash hours do not necessarily mean more dog excrement. Off leash hours would mean those who are more nervous of dogs choosing to use the parks at hours outside off leash hours.
And while we are at it, I would love to see long leashes banned - or at least the practice of tieing a dog on a long leash to a picnic table and allowed to run almost free and get tied up around various obstacles - some of them human.
Thanks for your comment.
I think it was in the 1950's that a law was passed in Palo Alto that prohibited dogs off leash anywhere, dog parks being the exception.
Your ineresting suggestion would require a vote of the people to change the existing ordinance. It is violated daily, including the likes of a former mayor.
It may be time to re-visit an ordinace that may have passed its useful life.
As for a dog run at Eleanor Park, the people that attend and weigh in at these concepts may or may not represent the general opinion of those who live near Eleasnor Park.
If we ticketed the following offenses, our budget problems would be solved
1.Dog owners with off leash dogs + dog owners who leave excrement on neighboring property.
2. Illegal use of cell phones while driving
3. Fraudulent use of disabled permits + illegal parking in disabled spaces.
Dog park sounds great. I also vote yes for Eleanor Park bathrooms. I live just a few blocks away and regularly walk through this lovely park throughout the year. When the weather is nice and there are lots of families, I see little children being "hoisted up" by their parents to go to the bathroom in the bushes. In the fall I see lots of men playing soccer dart into the bushes near the residential fence line, reappearing moments later hitching up their shorts. Am I the only one concerned about diseases transmitted by fecal/oral contact due to the lack of proper sanitation and handwashing facilities? Are we turning Palo Alto into a third world country where people can contract cholera, E. Coli, cryptosporidiosis etc because there is nowhere to poo and then wash our hands? The NIMBY attitude of the park's immediate neighbors (who oppose bathroom instillation) is shocking and appalling.
@Paul Losch - After years on the Parks and Rec Commission, it's clear that only part of CIP that you understand is the part that relates to Park Impact Fees.
Your statements about CIP are grossly incorrect! Capital Improvement Projects cover a wide variety of projects from utility infrastructure, streets, sidewalks, sewers, city buildings, parks, and whatever other capital projects Council approves. Funds come from many sources including utility bills (for utility use only), general funds, grants, and developer impact fees.
Park Impact fees paid by developers are only a portion of the CIP funds spent on Parks and Recreation in Palo Alto. Parks and Rec project CIP may also be funded by Council from the general fund or grants if Council chooses.
Each year the City published a CIP Project Manual that's about two inches thick that lists current CIP projects. It's basically the wish list from all City Departments that want CIP funding approval from Council. It's a bit dull, but very informative if you wan to know what the Council will consider when developing funding priorities.
@Resident "Off leash hours do not necessarily mean more dog excrement" - I own dogs, but I guarantee you that off leash hours mean more dog excrement. How could you say otherwise? Not only are there plenty of irresponsible owners, but even a good owner might not see their dog pooping if they are distracted. At least a dog park contains it somewhat.
As some one who walked a lot of dogs, either my own or friends and family, my take on this.
Off leash or on leash should be free of dog poop. A container to dispose of poop, BYOS, bring your own shovel.
Been to many dog parks where owners would pitch in and clean up.
We live in a urban area, yes dogs will brings, kids will play, parks get worn out and space needs to be shared.
That is Bark not bring.
Yes, as a former dog owner, I do say that off leash hours do not necessarily mean more dog excrement.
A good dog owner gets to know the pet's pooping habits. I know that my dogs used to poop on the way to where they could run offleash. The rhythmic exercise did stimulate the bowels and when a happy dog is being thrown balls or sticks to fetch or interacting with other dogs this is not the time they poop - they are too busy.
I have discussed this issue with other dog owners who all agree that once a dog has opened its bowels in the first period of exercise they do not open again. Of course, there are exceptions to this but once again a good dog owner knows the pet's habits and should be waiting for the event.
It is a bit like potty training a toddler! Watch for the signs.
Everyone at the dog park I go to cleans up after their dog --- if they don't other folks "kindly" remind them or just take care of the mess.
Usually the scofflaws are on their cell phones. But the overwhelming majority of humans at the park keep an eye on their animals at all times.
Our park works very well. There is never any random poop left at our local dog park (Foster City) and it welcomes residents of any Peninsula city.
Sorry to disagree with some posters, but I'm opposed to a bathroom at the park. Public bathrooms are expensive to build and maintain. Who pays for that?
Most PA parks were designed to be neighborhood parks - that's why there are no massive parking lots or blocks of convenient street parking....and no bathrooms.
Exactly right Crescent Park Dad. These neighborhood parks were meant for just that purpose. Besides that, it's still astounding that our city leaders and elected officials can continue to spend on non-essential projects such as a park upgrade. For now, the park is absolutely fine just the way it is. What's not fine is the ongoing budget deficit and our inability to pay for our essential civic needs without resorting to a tax increase.
As someone who lives near Eleanor Pardee park, I agree with a need for a bathroom, purely from a practical standpoint. It may have been designed as a neighborhood park, but it is used by a lot of non-neighborhood people, particularly on the weekends. It is also used by soccer teams, Little League teams, soccer camps, dog training schools, etc. As stated above, people use the bushes...
[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]
@ Resident - Of course a good owner will pick up after their own dog, but even if 90% of dog owners are good, then that still leaves a lot of poop. I walk my dogs every day, and every day I see poop on the sidewalk and poop on people's lawns. Once or twice a week I have to pick up dog poop off my lawn. There are plenty of lazy negligent owners with poorly adjusted dogs in this city.
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