Dog Run in Riverside Park at 72nd Street Closed for Six Months for ‘Reconstruction’ to the Dismay of Some Pet-Lovers


By Carol Tannenhauser

Once again, a lack of communication by the city has caused a kerfuffle on the Upper West Side.

Recently, the Riverside Park Conservancy announced in a sign on its fence that the Riverside Park South 72nd Street Dog Run — the one under the West Side Highway — will be closed starting the week of September 28th, i.e. this Monday.

It was met by shock and grief by neighborhood dog owners, who posted many signs of their own.

WSR contacted the NYC Parks Department, who cleared things up in an email:

Construction is underway! This dog run in Riverside Park will be closing for reconstruction as part of a larger project to reconstruct paths and pavement on the park’s south side. We anticipate reopening the dog run next spring (2021). New paths are being added and the run itself will be reconfigured. Dog run users will be able to use the new run at 66th Street and Riverside Boulevard in the coming weeks.

NEWS | 14 comments | permalink
    1. Zac says:

      So it seems like W. 81st St. dog run will be overwhelmed with additional dogs until spring of 2021 which may go into the fall of 2021 if it’s anything like the W. 81st St. construction of the newly renovated dog run that has the wrong ground materials!
      And more noise for the residence of W. 81st St. LOL!

    2. JL says:

      I hope they re-route the bike path to connect the stairs at 72nd to the basketball courts behind the outfield. The loop down to home base and circle back up makes no sense and causes conflict.

      Just make sure to add traffic calming crossings at the stairs and ramp (already exists) for pedestrian safety.

    3. Dog Runner says:

      Well, according to this sign, it’s only the one under the highway. So it appears that the 72nd St. dog run just above on street level will hopefully remain open.

    4. West End A; says:

      6 months to reconstruct a dog run? It’s sure better be something spectacular when it re-opens!

      • UWSItalian says:

        LOL – “spectacular”, ha ha ha! Becareful how you use that word near or around dog runs.
        What are they going to have, a dog snack bar and clothing/toys and pets supplies?
        Cushion individual seating at 6 feet social distance?
        “Mask” dispensers? Hmmmmmm “Spectacular”!!

    5. Robert Sheridan says:

      The 72nd Street Dog Run has only been open a few weeks after being padlocked 4-5 months due to CV.

      Anybody other than cumbersome, bloated government would have take advantage of that downtime to do the work.

      Shades of the Wollman Rink fiasco. “Lets take 6 months to do 2 weeks worth of work.” Especially after the screwed up 81st Street project which used a surface material that injures dogs and is unpleasant for people to walk on. Only took a year to produce those unsatisfactory results for a million dollar cost.

    6. Kay says:

      SIX MONTHS??? For what? MANI/PEDI stations for the dogs? A dog spa? COME ON, Parks! Show us some transparency. October and November should be ample for anything proposed.

    7. Tatjana says:

      I take my dog to the W 72nd Street South dog run daily. I’m disappointed this run is closing now. The highway above sheltered this run nicely in the fall and winter weather. So many people use the parks now, paths are crowded for dog walking. I see so many new puppies in addition to an already robust dog owner community in this neighborhood. The “newly opening” run at W 66th street is very small. The reconstructed dog run will be much smaller. I’m disappointed there was no public discussion with the dog owner community on this.

    8. Dog lover says:

      Didn’t riverside south dog run just get fresh mulch? Who was coordinating that?

      It’s not right that they would close this dog run before 66th is open. Given that 66th is years behind schedule, I find the Spring 2021 date given hard to believe.

      The official word is “reconfigured”, but the flyer suggests an 80% size reduction. If true, this is very disappointing. The sudden closing is a shock, and that after trying to search on the internet I still can’t find any word of the official plan, it frustrates me that this opaque level of operation is deemed acceptable by the city.

      This whole thing seems poorly managed.

    9. Marilyn says:

      How about basic maintenance at the 105th run? The gate doesn’t lock – talk about safety issues, and it DESPERATELY needs new ground topping. It’s an insane dust bowl in there.

    10. Not having it says:

      Well considering the 81st St run is ignored by dog owners in favor of the grass field nearby, it looks like we’ll be treated to more suburbanite behavior from the New People

    11. pjones says:

      Wow. Sad times. Not surprised by the miscommunication. Please don’t screw this dog park up like the 81st Street & Columbus dog park where the appropriate size gravel wasn’t available and an inappropriate size was used instead, making this dog park unusable. Poor planning. For such an incredible dog community on the UWS the support and understanding of what is needed from local government and contractors is not so much.

    12. Alice says:

      The new dog run is so small that only little dogs will be able to use the new run on 66 Street. Who ever designed the run obviously never had a dog. Who would put cement blocks in the middle of the run? Its very small.

    13. Danica says:

      Rumor has the new space will. E too small for a dog to chase a ball. The “run” at 66 has one great benefit seating in the center unfortunately it is rectangular shaped stone with pointed corners at eye height for a dog or back of knee fir a person. Given the small confines a potential hazard if more than a few pups in the run with their humans. At least there are no benches along the edge to use to jum over the fence after a squirrel. However o space to safely throw a ball for a dog to catch or chase if a few other owners are there.