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Howls of Protest on Park

March 22, 2003

Regarding "Parking Plan at Dog Park Draws Howls of Protest" (March 15) and Runyon Canyon Park's myriad problems, including overcrowding, ubiquitous dog waste, traffic snarls and a growing animosity between visitors and residents:

The article refers to the parking provisions for the park as "limited." This is a comical understatement: 25 spaces for a park that receives hundreds of visitors at peak hours. This is surely the only city facility of its size where local residential streets are forced to bear such an outrageous proportion of the parking burden. That's unfair. And there is also the reek caused by literally thousands of dogs a week -- many not on leashes -- using our front yards as a litter box.

I love the park. I walk in the canyon with my own dog several times a week. But the situation around the Vista gate is out of control. Angry neighbors, unleashed dogs, congested traffic and kids in strollers are a dangerous brew. I hope that local officials are working to find answers fast, before someone gets badly hurt.

Jess Winfield

Los Angeles

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As neighbors of Runyon Canyon Park we are well aware of the friction between park users and residents. We see unsupervised, unleashed dogs and parking violations daily. We are also aware of increased crime, drug dealing and fire danger. The popularity of the park also has resulted in serious environmental deterioration. But rather than point fingers at each other, residents and park users should place the blame where it belongs: on the city. Obviously, the park is much more popular than anyone ever anticipated. City officials and the Department of Recreation and Parks have allowed park use to grow unchecked and unregulated. Even the minimal existing laws and regulations are not enforced. The results are continually increasing anger, frustration and a beautiful area of the city on its way to ruin. What are they thinking?

The answer is not a parking lot or a ban on dogs. That is treating the symptoms rather than the disease. What's needed is a master plan to address all the issues. We've been asking the city for help for many years but have been unable to get any significant response. Contrary to perception, residents are eager to preserve this "urban oasis." It's time for the city to take responsibility for the mess it has created.

Lyn Lockhart-Mummery

Elaine Serrano

Jacquelin Sonderling

Los Angeles

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