Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Banning Dog Walking to 'Save' a Downtown?

Consumerist links to an article saying a small city is considering a ban on even leashed pets to help revitalize an ailing urban area. The town manager defends the potential ban, saying that he's witnessed elderly customers 'nearly falling over' because of the size of some of the dogs.

Of course, the article then shows two tiny dogs and their owners.

This is an interesting contrast to some of the Yappy Hour type activities that we see here in D.C. where businesses are specifically trying to attract dog owners, assuming that they are young professionals with money to spend. 

At the same time, there have been instances that come to mind where dogs and/or their owners get out of control and become a problem.

Without having more familiarity with the issues, this seems like the broken windows kind of approach to crime that may work, but obviously has consequences. It may also be pandering to the electorate, as the elderly were specifically cited. It might even help in the short term.

Some cities (Singapore comes to mind) have had success by banning things as mundane as chewing gum. 

But when you think of a vibrant district of a city, like a farmer's market or a park, responsible dog walking is the kind of activity that you generally want to encourage. 

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