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Published: Thursday, 3/1/2007

TOPS panel mulls rules for dogs on bike trail


TOPS commissioners are reviewing possible "dog usage regulations," such as whether to allow dogs on the Quarry Ridge Bike Trail.

As proposed by Steve Marvin, operations manager for The Olander Park System, commonly referred to as TOPS, dogs would be allowed on the Quarry Ridge Bike Trail during a one-year probationary period. Dogs would be required to be on a maximum eight-foot long leash on the trail or on the adjacent mowed area on either side of the trail, giving dog owners a 24-foot wide area.

The park system, according to the proposal discussed by TOPS commissioners during their meeting Monday night, would have available for dog owners waste disposal bags at several sites along the trail this spring with appropriate signage detailing the park system policy and probationary period.

Mr. Marvin is recommending that the one-year probationary period begin with the completion of the Sylvan Prairie Park's Brint Road entry way and parking lot project this summer because that will be the location of the Quarry Ridge Bike Trail's major trail head.

The dog usage policy would be modeled after the format followed by the Toledo Area Metroparks. People walking their dogs would have to have a dog utility bag visible while on the Quarry Ridge Bike Trail.

Mr. Marvin has recommended that dogs should not be allowed to run free or to be on a leash in Sylvan Prairie Park, other than on the Quarry Ridge Bike Trail.

Based on information gathered during a research on dog parks, Mr. Marvin doesn't recommend that the park system proceed independently with creating a dog park at Sylvan Prairie Park or any other park system facility. His primary concern, as outlined in his proposal, is whether Sylvan Prairie Park would be large enough to house a dog park.

TOPS commissioners are continuing to discuss the proposed regulations, such as how regulations would be enforced and how to make sure that dog owners properly dispose of their pets' waste.

Gary Madrzykowski, director of the Olander system, said that he would like to see the regulations in place by April if possible.

Mr. Marvin has recommended, too, that TOPS continue its present "no dogs allowed" policy in the park system's Olander Park.

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