I am among the many who routinely run and/or walk downtown, specifically across the Walnut Street Bridge. More often than not, I am there early in the morning. It is at this time I most often encounter the piles, clumps and other forms of excrement left by pets being walked.
This is not the pet’s fault. The blame responsibility lies on the pet owner to pick it up and properly dispose of the waste.
There was a time the city contemplated the issue of whether or not pets would be allowed on the Bridge (similar to the ban in Coolidge Park). At that time, I, for one, was in favor of access. However, due to the current irresponsibility of pet owners, I have started to question that decision.
While I have not as yet championed a cause in an effort to petition the city to reconsider pet access to (specifically) the Bridge, I just might if pet owners don’t soon become responsible enough to pick up pet waste when it’s deposited. People should be able to admire the beauty of the city and the river, rather than worry about stepping in pet waste.
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The writer is absolutely correct. There was a time when pets were banned from the bridge due to the irresponsible behavior of those who failed to pick up after their animals. The ban was lifted at the request of the late Ruth Holmberg and others living nearby. She promised to set an example and she did just that.
Most who knew her were certainly aware that she could easily have hired a full sanitation crew to follow along and pick up after her tiny dog. However, Ruth took care of her own business - or her dog's business, I suppose.
At the time that the bridge was reopened for pets, we also installed sanitation stations complete with bags for use by dog walkers. We also installed cameras to monitor and discourage human misbehavior of all sorts. I believe that those cameras have since been upgraded and improved so that the identification of irresponsible individuals should be much more effective today.
Why not a time of focused enforcement with offenders cited to City Court.