War on waste: Junction park sets up ‘designated pet areas’

March 24, 2012 at 10:20 pm | In Junction Plaza Park, Pets, West Seattle news, West Seattle parks | 23 Comments

No doubt, the majority of dog owners are responsible and respectful of others. And then, there are the few who make things unpleasant for everybody else by not picking up after their pets. More than a few, in the case of Junction Plaza Park, the tiny oasis of public greenspace at Alaska/42nd, just steps from the heart of The Junction, which now has “designated pet areas” in graveled spots along the sidewalk, after its grassy central circle was so badly befouled, it was in danger of dying. It’s now marked with signs asking pet owners to NOT let their animals relieve themselves there:

We spotted the signs this past week, but had heard about the plan from Susan Melrose of the West Seattle Junction Association and Erica Karlovits of the Junction Neighborhood Association, both of whom worked hard to help make the park happen in the first place; Melrose brought the problem up at the Southwest District Council meeting back in February.

23 Comments

  1. That’s great! I live a few blocks away from this “park” and always walk through there with my daughter. I constantly see the same owners/dogs being walked around that grass. Be respectful and pick up your dogs mess!

    Comment by Westgirl — 12:20 am March 25, 2012 #

  2. “Designated pet area”? That’s cute, in a provincial way. My dogs would never poop on gravel. They demand the green stuff. Also, I doubt the assertion that the *entire* lawn was “in danger of dying” is factually correct.

    Comment by jno — 12:24 am March 25, 2012 #

  3. Sign, sign, everywhere a sign
    Blockin’ out the scenery, breakin’ my mind
    Do this, don’t do that, can’t you read the sign?

    Comment by Sbone — 7:15 am March 25, 2012 #

  4. Dog owners are required to pick up after their dogs (and as a dog owner myself, I make sure I carry at least 2 bags with me in case my dog decides she needs to poop twice on a walk. My dog has an incredibly strict diet/eating schedule and is like clockwork for pooping, easy to calculate when she’s going to relieve herself).
    .
    My dog and most others will have specified types of surface they’ll relieve themselves on. My dog will not relieve herself on gravel, cement, wood flooring, carpet or linoleum, it has to be grass or low ground cover plants.
    .
    The brown spots on grass are caused by ‘some’ female and fewer male dogs urinate in the same spot multiple times. It’s due to high acidity levels in their urine.
    .
    As a dog owner, it upsets me that others do not pick up after their dogs and respect areas that are shared. I don’t want to step in it, I don’t want my dog to step in it and I definitely don’t want my daughter to step in it. It’s a health hazzard.
    .
    PICK IT UP!

    Comment by Mike — 7:21 am March 25, 2012 #

  5. what about the cigarette butts that are strewn all over that area as well. look in the garden, there’s hundreds of them littered in the dirt and all. gross.

    Comment by carlton — 8:18 am March 25, 2012 #

  6. From what I’ve heard it is not the Po but the P that has something to do with the discoloring of the grass. It has something to do with the gender and PH of the dog.
    What I find interesting and a little more puzzling are all the little full doggy bags thrown into the bushes. I don’t know maybe it is just I never saw them on my summer walks with all the leaves and such.

    Comment by patt — 8:24 am March 25, 2012 #

  7. Actually, I suspect the “in danger of dying” is more due to urine than stool. Dogs are quite capable of killing a patch of grass that way, especially with as much repeated use as that little park must see.

    Comment by gooberdog — 9:10 am March 25, 2012 #

  8. Hate to say it, but I’ve seen residents from the adjacent Seattle Housing Authority’s building routinely use this park as their pet’s private bathroom. Disgraceful.

    Comment by Bill — 9:36 am March 25, 2012 #

  9. When we were in the planning phase of this park we voted to design it with gravel so this problem wouldn’t occur, but those that also had input wanted some grass as they thought their children would like the grass, and what child wouldn, but there are few to no children that use this area because the grass is full of poop, and sketchy individuales who sit there all day smoking and drinking. Great idea, wrong demographics.

    Comment by Silly Goose — 11:10 am March 25, 2012 #

  10. I have been to cities in Eastern Wa that do not allow dogs on the grass in city parks. They provide a tether line for the dogs on a graveled area. This way people can actually put a blanket on the clean grass and lay down and read a book. No stench. What is wrong with taking your dog to an alley to pee and poop. There is always some greenery in the alley. As for the bags of poop? See them everywhere. Every community. Tucked here and there, in rockeries. They get pitched up in the planted area in front of our condos. They are stuffed in the large planters where I work. They are everywhere!:(

    Comment by bebecat — 11:44 am March 25, 2012 #

  11. We waited 10 years for this park, envisioning a place to gather with coffee or lunch, let the children play, hear music…but it’s a dog toilet. Where did your dogs relieve themselves before? Can’t they still go there and let children sit on the grass? I’m all for a “no dogs allowed” policy at this point.

    Comment by Neighborly — 1:13 pm March 25, 2012 #

  12. bill…it is everyone in the immediate neighborhood who has dogs. there’s also qfc residents right cross the street too you know. it is a neighborhood community dog toilet and ash tray disposal. lie in that grass please.

    Comment by carlton — 2:16 pm March 25, 2012 #

  13. I’ve never actually stopped at that park, I refer to it as crackhead park. Never seen any groups of people I’d care to actually be around there. Most smoking or just plain sketchy looking. I’d imagine the people taking a dog there are not the type that would pick up after their dog, probably live like that in their apartment/condo/house as well.

    Comment by Mike — 2:18 pm March 25, 2012 #

  14. the only thing missing from there is a few homeless bums.

    bebecat..this isn’t eastern washington, it is liberal, liberal seattle baby. letting animals deficate anywhere on private property devalues and deteriorates. i see dog owners let them piss on concrete columns outside the qfc by the liquor store. it smells like a toilet bowl everywhere in the junction.

    Comment by carlton — 2:18 pm March 25, 2012 #

  15. It seems like this is all due to the two adjacent apartment/condo buildings. The parks department could send the building owners a request to take DNA samples of resident’s dogs as some complexes have begun doing. They should also be required to provide a pooping lawn or else should not allow dogs in these apartments/condos.

    Comment by WSRes — 3:01 pm March 25, 2012 #

  16. Go spend a little time in the Netherlands. No one ever picks up their dog’s poop. There is poop on the sidewalks, you absolutely cannot step in any grass anywhere without getting poop on your shoes, and forget playing or laying in the grass! So disgusting!!! So they have signs with little drawings of dogs taking a dump with a circle and line across it. And I have pictures of poop directly under signs like that. It’s SO NASTY. Our city loves dogs sooooo much, but it needs to stop before we become like Holland.

    Comment by AJP — 3:12 pm March 25, 2012 #

  17. “Bill”, Would it be less disgraceful if it was a condo and not the Seattle Housing Authority’s building who use this park as their pet’s private bathroom? Where I am, condo owners are just as good at using the grass as the “old and poor”.

    Dogs will pee any where they are TRAINED too pee, gravel, grass, trees, newspaper, people who stand still to long.

    There are a lot more people and people with dogs in Seattle now and dog owners need to take more responsibility.

    Comment by patt — 8:35 pm March 25, 2012 #

  18. No doubt, the majority of cigarette smokers are responsible and are respectful of others. And then, there are the few who make things unpleasant for everybody else by throwing there cigarette butts on the ground and their fast food packaging and their empty beer, wine, liquor and soda pop bottles and cans. I walk my dog everyday to Hamilton Overlook Park and not a day goes by that I don’t pick up the garbage that some waste of a human being left on the ground. The majority of dog owners are far more responsible the the majority of human garbage that are allowed into our parks just because they are ‘human’?!

    Comment by Dennis Grace — 10:24 pm March 25, 2012 #

  19. Dennis..what are you smoking that the majority of cigarette smokers are responsible and respectful of others. Puhleeeeze! I see smokers everyday discard their butts onto the streets, bus stops in front of grocery stores and parks. Give ma a break! if I could get just $1 for every butt thrown on the ground and record it, I’d be millionaire in no time.

    Comment by carlton — 11:27 am March 26, 2012 #

  20. yet an other conversation hijacked by the cig butt people.

    Comment by ick — 4:44 pm March 27, 2012 #

  21. I have my own park where my dog and I do whatever I want. I drink alcohol, he poops: it’s called my back yard. If you care so much about having open space that you control, stop buying condos and high density “green” housing.

    Similar “problem” in South Lake Union, where all the Amazonians complained there isn’t a City provided dog park for their animals to play.

    Did we forget parks are PUBLIC open space, for EVERYONE to enjoy? And obviously we should feel lucky when a new one gets created, and take pride that everyone can come hang out, dog or not, homeless or not, screaming kids or not, guns or not etc…

    Comment by GP — 5:33 pm March 27, 2012 #

  22. Well if there was a off leash place near by… Such as the old pathfinder school maybe people would take their dogs there. The fact is, there are many dogs in west Seattle and they have to go to the bathroom.

    Comment by Jon — 6:06 am April 2, 2012 #

  23. Yea! High five to Junction Plaza Park and other people who placed reminders for the dog owners. Seattle…now this. Maybe we can have something printable we can display in front of our lawns to help reduce the amount of brown landmines.

    Comment by dai — 2:48 pm April 2, 2012 #

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