NORTH OGDEN — The city’s new dog park is so popular that parking has become a problem.
The park, at 2600 North and 850 East, has eight designated spaces, and dog owners aren’t supposed to park along 2600 North or from the park to the corner of 850 East. But residents living on those streets say it’s happening anyway.
Since the park opened in May, it has been more popular than city officials expected. Police have been patrolling the area and residents have been telling visitors where designated parking is available, to little avail.
“We somehow need to reorient the signs and red-stripe the curb (at 850 East),” City Councilman Phil Swanson said. “The neighborhood is tired of being the parking police.”
People have complained on both sides of the issue with long Facebook posts on both the mayor’s and dog park’s pages. The city council and mayor also have received complaints in person.
“The dog park has been a big success and we are happy for that, But the parking situation is what it is and is not going to change anytime soon,” Mayor Brent Taylor said.
Expanding the parking lot would cost about $40,000 and the city has no plans to do that.
“If there are not enough spots, people can walk to the dog park or park their cars at the Barker Park parking lot and walk to the dog park. Or come back at a later time,” Taylor said.
Barker Park is across 2600 North, about a block away, but the parking is further south, about two blocks.
Parking isn’t the only problem. Some patrons aren’t keeping their dogs on a leash before getting to the park and some allow dogs to defecate on lawns or by other cars.
The city recently informed Carol Campbell, one of the organizers who made the dog park possible, that the North Ogden Police Department would be stepping up patrols in the area, enforcing parking rules and the leash law. Campbell also is encouraging patrons to bring bags from home in case the cleanup stations at the park run out.
Campbell posted on the Facebook page and spoke at several city council meetings to report volunteers are still learning how to run the park to minimize conflict with the city and residents.
Resident Aubrey Obrey wrote on Facebook that she knows the parking is not ideal but she appreciates Taylor keeping his promise to monitor traffic near her home on 850 East.
One thing has been made clear by city officials — no parking will be allowed on 2600 North for the dog park, no matter what. Swanson suggested that the police be especially vigilant about ticketing those parking there.
When it comes to the complaints about parking access to the new, very popular dog park in North Ogden, we agree with the sentiments expressed by that city’s mayor, Brent Taylor.
“The dog park has been a big success and we are happy for that. But the parking situation is what it is and is not going to change anytime soon,” said the mayor.
There are currently eight spaces set aside to park at the park at 2600 North and 850 East. Residents who live there have said that dog owners are parking along 2600 North and from the park to the corner of 850 East. That’s supposed to be off limits.
It would simply cost too much for North Ogden to expand parking directly at the park. But this should not be a problem. Those walking their dogs have access to parking. As Taylor adds:
“If there are not enough spots, people can walk to the dog park or park their cars at the Barker Park parking lot and walk to the dog park. Or come back at a later time,” says the mayor.
He’s right. There is parking two blocks away, further south. People who are already walking their dogs, and having the animals enjoy the dog park, should not have concerns about walking the pets two blocks. In our opinion, the dogs would love the extra walking time and attention.
Pet owners need to be aware that the North Ogden Police Department is planning to increase its patrols of the dog park area.
City parking rules and leash laws will be enforced. The extra two blocks to walk if the parking access is full needs to become the norm. The public has had time to be aware of what’s legal and what is not.
Dog parks improve the quality of living for our communities. We’re very pleased that the North Ogden dog park is a big success. But the rights of the residents who live there, as well as the city’s parking laws, need to be respected as well.