Parks Department asks Astoria residents for input on upcoming dog run

basketball courts
Photo via Google Maps

Dog owners in Astoria will have a say in the design of a new $1 million dog run to be built under the RFK Bridge at Hoyt Avenue North, between 23rd and 24th streets.

The Parks Department is asking dog owners to attend a scope meeting at the Bohemian Hall, located at 29-19 24th Ave., on Jan. 6 at 7 p.m. to discuss the specifics of the project.

Councilman Costa Constantinides announced in September that he would allocate $500,000 to the dog run after it garnered 773 votes through participatory budgeting. Queens Borough President Melinda Katz is also contributing $500,000 for the construction from her discretionary capital funds.

Currently, Astoria residents can bring their dogs to Astoria Park during off-leash hours from 6 to 9 a.m. or to Bugsy’s Dog Run, an unofficial dog park that is administered by the Department of Environmental Protection.

The Astoria Dog Owners Association has posted several complaints about Bugsy’s Dog Run on their Facebook page. According to the group, the space experiences frequent flooding, there is no fresh water source for dogs, and the fence enclosing the area is too low and has many holes.

A 2012 study conducted by the New York Economic Development Corporation found that Astoria has one of the highest cat and dog ownership rates in Queens with 30,001 to 41,627 pets living in the neighborhood.

Community Board 1, the Astoria Dog Owners Association and the Old Astoria Neighborhood Association will be in charge of cleaning and maintaining the park.

At the meeting, the Parks Department will also discuss upgrades to basketball courts at the site.