Op-Ed: Let Ohlone Park keep its chairs, Berkeley

Ohlone Dog Park in Berkeley. Photo: Nancy Rubin

Ohlone Dog Park is the only fenced facility where dogs can run free in Berkeley. Park users spontaneously provided chairs at their own expense for years until the City got rid of them, allegedly for safety reasons.  This is the nanny state run amok, argues Albert Sukoff, a longtime Berkeley resident who has been visiting Ohlone Park with his trusty Springer Spaniel, Day-Z for the past four years. Read his recently published column in our op/ed section, Opinionator.

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  • BBnet3000

    Ive thought this park needs some seating for a long time. Theres exactly one place with a fixed seat where you can sit down and eat, where theres a few tables. City parks need benches at least!

  • Why would you want to sit down and eat at a fenced in dog park where fights are likely to break out amongst dogs when high value [human] food is involved?

  • Bill

    Part of the problem with the park is that it’s a social event for some of the owners and their dogs which results in dogs not being actively handled and controlled by their owners.

  • BBnet3000

    I was referring to the Ohlone park in general. The lack of seating these people were responding to in the dog park is characteristic of the whole thing.

  • Greg Merritt

    Dogs also can — and do, daily — run free in the open, unfenced grass area just a couple of blocks to the west. This is the doggy state run amok. Why bother putting resources into the official dog park if so many dog owners walk down the street with their dogs and let them run unleashed all over the ped/bike path anyway?

  • James

    don’t want to attract the homeless

  • anon

    I hear your frustration here. Its the small dog crowd. Small often will not play when giant dogs are running in the dog park – honestly I don’t blame them because it can be dangerous and it tends to make small dogs bark constantly out of fear. We have a little dog and have been invited to join them many times, but don’t because we want our dog to get over it. There were rumors about adding a small dog section, but if that means making the current dog park space smaller, which is too small for the number of users already, that would suck. 

    I don’t go to the park, since the loss of the chairs. It is too sad. The older generation no longer comes. It is mostly young 30 somethings people who can stand for an hour. There are a few people at tables, but they are mostly unshaded and no one can bare the heat long. I don’t sit at them because dogs use them as an obstacle course, so are covered in dirt or mud. It is kind of gross. Chairs are really the only solution, a bench would be the same situation. 

    There were gross plastic chairs that held piss scent for a while. Then the dog park association bought really nice metal ones and created an awesome community. Why did the city do nothing before everything was solved and decided to exhort effort that hurt a thriving park community. The older generation can’t stand or expect a seat when they come. They can’t come at the same hour every day now to socialize. They and the handicap are the portion of this community that really suffered. They need this place daily for mental and health reasons, as much as their dogs do.