Smokers May Permanently Force Close of Columbia Heights’ Unofficial Dog Park

From a Columbia Heights Dog Park message:

DOG PARK TO BE CLOSED & LOCKED UP FOR GOOD ……..according to the METRO supervisor in charge of the facility UNLESS, according to him, 1.) park users cease to smoke cigarettes and dump their cigarette butts at the dog park AND 2.) if ALL cigarette butts AREN’T picked up and disposed properly in the trash cans.

I just spoke with him at the dog park. He was there inspecting the space and he was NOT HAPPY AT ALL. He couldn’t have been more clear: ALL METRO FACILITIES ARE SMOKE AND CIGARETTE FREE!! The reason why he came by is because his maintenance workers are complaining of all the butts falling through the large vent and clogging up their machines, vents and other systems, causing them to come back more often then they are supposed to and causing them many headaches.


This was a big problem last summer as well. I, in particular, am sick and tired of cleaning up after smokers at the park and won’t do it anymore. Afterall, many people gave their time on a Saturday morning about a month ago to clean the park up. And believe me, there was a lot of unpicked up dog waste, as well, and after looking at the mess today I saw (cigarette butts), it is NOT FAIR IN THE LEAST to those who volunteered their time for the place to look as horrible as it does at this very moment near the picnic tables and chairs. It’s also unfair to the overwhelming majority of us who DON’T SMOKE. Lastly, it’s very unfair to the dogs who think the butts are something to chew and play with.

Therefore, in order for the park to remain open, I need one person to step up to the plate and clean this up. PLEASE DON’T REPLY TO THIS and/or COMMENT, just get it done. ACTION is what is needed. If and when you see someone light up in the park, please ask them in a courteous manner to take it outside the fenced in areas of the dog park.

Thank you.

137 Comment

  • i thought smokers were exempt from littering. no?

    • No . . . they only act as though they are.

    • Dog owners these days seem to think they’re above the law. There’s a lady in Mount Pleasant who’s always letting her filthy little beast run around without a leash when she walks it.

      I say exterminate all the dogs. Then the cats have more room to run free.

      AND you end up eliminating the problem of inconsiderate dog-owning smokers who pick up neither dogpoop nor cigarette butts in this little space.

      Let’s hear it for a dog-free DC!

  • I predict this thread busts a hundred posts.

  • The Onion has a relevant article on the composition of this message:,10778/

  • Is there a No Smoking sign on the gate?

    • +1

      If there is, they should consider making it bigger. Let it be known that the area is non-smoking, and encourage users of the park to nag those who don’t comply.

      • i guess they should ass a no littering sign as well?
        how about a sign for no kicking the dogs while we’re at it.

        • this. I don’t give two craps about the dog park, as a non-dog owner, but still think it’s a nice resource in our otherwise concrete landscape. From what I understand, Parks and Rec has nothing to do with this space, and it was offered up by Metro, which in no way needed to do this. It sucks when an obnoxious minority ruins something of value to a much larger group of people. And I speak as an occasional smoker who throws their butts in the trash can. Not difficult.

        • My point is that if there isn’t a sign, then people will smoke. It’s not clear to everyone that this piece of land is owned by Metro, and, thus, is inherently non-smoking. Thus, they need a sign explaining such.

          There are two issues brought up here: 1) You cannot smoke on metro property and 2) there is a litter problem. So, there needs to be a no smoking sign. And people need to pick up after themselves weather its cigarette butts or feces. This need not break out into an anti-smoking disc.

    • Not yet, which may account for some of the confusion over whether or not smoking was prohibited. Some temporary signs will be going up this afternoon and I know that a few dog owners (of which I am one) will be contacting Metro about obtaining some more “official” (i.e., permanent) no-smoking/littering signs.

  • Smokers are the worst.

  • “Smokers May Permanently Force Close of Columbia Heights’ Unofficial Dog Park”

    Oh PoP, how inflammatory.

    “Littering of Cigarette Butts May Permanently Force Close of Columbia Heights’ Unofficial Dog Park”

    It is not the act of smoking that will close the park, it is the act littering (of cigarette remains) that will cause the closure.

    True, only smokers can litter cigarette butts, but not all smokers litter their butts.

    (are we above 20 posts yet?)

  • Smokers may finally accomplish something worthwhile. That space used to be a nice green space, and the dog owners turned it into a filthy patch of dirt. I hope Metro does close it so that the grass can grow back.

    • I understand that NCHCA is trying to do something to address this, for what it’s worth.

    • Actually, Metro is the main reason there’s currently no grass in the park. Last October they went in to remove the remediation tank(s) that were put in place when the gas station that was formerly on the lot was closed. Metro closed the park for a month and dug up the majority of it; when it was reopened the place was basically a giant dirt pit. Trust me, as a dog owner I’d kill for some grass (or gravel or mulch) there, because right now whenever it rains the place becomes a giant mud bath.



  • Littering butts all over the dog park is definitely retarded, but ALL METRO FACILITIES ARE SMOKE AND CIGARETTE FREE??? Then why are there ash trays at the bottom of the exterior escalators at many Metro stations?

    • There are? That’s odd.

      Regardless, the presence of ashtrays doesn’t equate to the right to smoke there.

    • I think it’s to give a last chance to people who didn’t realize they weren’t supposed to be doing XYZ on the escalators. Same with the trash cans for people to dispose of whatever they’ve been eating or drinking.

    • +1. too often do I see (and smell) people smoking on the escalator or standing at the bottom puffing away. I’ve even seen youth smoking IN the stations before they reach the escalators! I’ve been known to smoke every so often, but it’s disgusting in those enclosed spaces — especially on a cold day waiting for the bus in the shelters.

      • Hell, I’ve seen Metro EMPLOYEES smoking at the bottom of the escalator before! I bet this supervisor would flip his lid if he heard about this.

  • me

    What do those signs say in the picture? No smoking?

    I have a stupid question. There are grates that go down into the metro system, and when butts are put on the ground, then the butts clog everything in the system up.

    What about if dog pee/poop go down the grates, which I assume it would? And since it’s an unofficial dog park anyways, who does this chick (I’m assuming it’s a girl) think that she is in order to enforce this?

    I understand that smokers suck… I’m an ex-smoker and now I can’t stand the smell of smoke or the litter everywhere. But I don’t know.

    • It’s not a chick who sent the message, it’s a guy who’s a regular user of the dog park.

      The dogs generally don’t pee or poop on/into the grate. They will lie on it to chill out and enjoy the cool air that comes up out of it.

      I’m a near-daily user of the dog park and am not a smoker, but I don’t care if people smoke there. I do care that while I’m picking up my dog’s feces from the ground to try to keep the place relatively neat, other people think that leaving their cigarette waste on the ground is okay.

  • andy

    I am surprised that leaving cigarette butts around is not seen as littering by so many people. I’m not some big stickler on the substance, though like most I’m not a fan of littering or smoking.

    It’s really about why people just see leaving cigarett butts around so differently from leaving other trash around. Is it the size of the butts? That smoking is a very common outdoor activity? That cigarette butts might rot away if left for enough time (unlike beer bottles, etc.)?

    • +1. I wonder about this too.

    • bfinpetworth

      In actuality, cellulose acetate, which most cigarette filters are composed of, is highly UNbiodegradeable. Tossing cigarette butts on the ground is a highly inconsiderate behavior. When one of my adult stepkids lived with me and my partner a number of years ago, I had a constant struggle with her tossing her butts in the yard. It seemed almost as if she just couldn’t help herself, and is otherwise considerate and tidy. To this day, when she comes to visit I inevitably find butts in the yard. Argh.

  • You know, or stop these draconic laws against public smoking and just give us an area of the park with appropriate ash trays for receptacles.

    • You’re missing the point. We don’t want our dogs (especially puppies) mixing with other dogs who have smokers as owners.

    • You do realize that non smokers don’t view smokers sympathetically? And that we’re in the majority? What do we get out of passing smoker friendly laws? Nothing.

      If anything we look down on you. I have friends that smoke. We all do. But I pity the fact that they were so weak at some point in their lives that they couldn’t say no to a drug that doesn’t even get you high. Lemming like behavior = lame.

      • Nearly every smoker I know served in the military. We have no right to call them weak.

        • Obviously, there are exceptions — as with anything in life. NPR just did a story on smokers in the military. One guy described being in the battlefield, chewing tobacco as stress relief. That would be different than someone who smokes because they’re afraid of looking “uncool”.

          The majority of smokers are non-military.

      • Who are you to “look down” on anyone?

        • Should we look up to smokers? We have a right to judge people for their actions. I do feel it’s very wrong to judge people based on things they can’t change. Smokers can chose to quit — or never start in the first place.

          Sorry if this is an issue I obviously feel passionate about. I feel it’s fair to pity those who ingest cancer-causing agents. It’s a sign of weakness to be sure — not strength.

          Everyone, including you, looks down on others. The choices about who we pity are a big part of what defines us.

      • You get cigarette butts in your dog park. Here’s a tip for everyone, us vs. them mentality never solves anything.

        • That is LESS cigarette butts. Anyways you sound like a nazi

        • Okay, I see what happened. I was responding to the “draconian laws” aspect of that person’s comment. Notice I didn’t say anything about ashtrays — but I can see the ambiguity. I’d love to see more trash cans w/ ash components — if it could be done cheaply. Not going to happen, however, given DPW’s current budget.

      • I don’t really care if non-smokers view smokers “sympathetically.” The fact is that smoking is a legal activity that a considerable minority of the population choses to participate in. And in places where ashtrays are made available, the waste generated by smoking is better-contained than in places where the “it’s not illegal, but I’m going to do everything in my power to make it seem that way” mentality wins out. An ashtray never convinced anyone to take up smoking, but it will convince many smokers to properly dispose of their waste. Some of the cleanest streets I’ve seen in my life are in Shanghai. You know what they have on EVERY. SINGLE. CORNER. (and often in the middle of blocks)? A combo trash can/recycling bin/ashtray. And people USE them. This in a country where it’s totally okay to pollute things up with every noxious chemical known to man and a huge percentage of the population smokes. Huh…

      • just because you don’t like something doesn’t mean that those who do it are weak. or don’t honestly enjoy it. i’m not a smoker either, but damn you sound like a pretentious ass when you try to make assumptions like that.

        • Causing yourself cancer = a weakness. I don’t see how you or anyone could disagree. Even if you don’t develop cancer, you’re causing a host of other health problems.

          The enjoyment is not real — it’s relief from the pain of addiction. It’s like heroin or coke or another highly addictive substance — but without the high. People smoke to alleviate addiction, not to feel better than if they never smoked to begin with. Really, no one smokes because they “enjoy” it — with the exception of cigar smokers and other very occasional (non-addicted) smokers.

          • i do understand how fun rationalizing can be. it gives us a kind of freedom to insult but not feel guilty about looking down on others. the enjoyment is not real –it’s a relief from pain. the behavior can be corrected, but it must come from you.

          • That’s the *science* behind it, Anonymous. I’m not making assumptions or rationalizing. You should do more reading on the subject.

            Listen, I have no problem looking down on bad behavior. Neither do you. Right now, you’re looking down on me or my behavior as you see it.

            But like I said before, I’m passionate about this issue — maybe to the point of being shrill. Fine. I can think of worse things to be strongly against.

  • EASY, Someone should chip in to buy canisters for cigarette butts then… Perhaps Meridian Pint and that expensive pizza place next door should sponsor that?

    Its hard to hear people complaining about cigarette butts when dog poop is dropped there all the time. Stop restricting people’s rights to smoke and help create a solution, its outdoors, there’s plenty of air for everyone, and I don’t see anyone complaining about Diesel Fuel going into their lungs from Trucks and Busses.

    • +100

    • I don’t smoke and never have, but I totally agree that smokers are getting their rights trampled. Smoking should be free and legal as long as it’s outside and not interfering with somebody else’s fresh air. I mean, let’s be reasonable. Hold you breath for the second or two it takes to walk past a smoker.

      On the other hand, I gotta wonder why smokers feel it’s OK to litter if someone else hasn’t provided a proper receptacle for you! Is it OK to toss your Wendy’s wrapper on the ground just because the surrounding businesses didn’t provide the infrastructure for you to dispose of it properly?

      Carry it with you until you find a place to throw it away.

      • “Smoking should be free and legal as long as it’s outside and not interfering with somebody else’s fresh air.” & “Hold your breath for the second or two it takes you to walk past a smoker.”

        You don’t see a contradiction in these two statements. If not, a thousand studies on second hand smoke may help you to.

        • What I mean is that we should be able to find a reasonable middle ground on this issue. I don’t see a problem at all with people smoking outside, on the sidewalk, etc.

          Walking past an occasional cloud of cigarette smoke on the sidewalk is not gonna result in Second Hand Smoke Syndrome, or whatever they’re calling it.

          • of course we’re not actually talking about smoking on the sidewalk. We’re talking about smoking on Metro’s lot (which, yes, is unenclosed open space).

      • But our solution to trash on the street is often to install trash cans. Why is the solution to cigarette butts “no smoking” signs in places where it’s perfectly legal and not disruptive to others to smoke (obviously there’s an issue here as Metro DOES have a policy against smoking, but I think you were talking earlier about a more general public situation)? People gonna smoke…let’s treat it like other trash and realize that the solution to the waste generated is simply a place to put it. BESIDES…if you put the ashtray out of the way, the smokers will ALSO congregate out of the way. Works where I work…they put the ashtray off to the side of the building, where no one has to go unless they want to smoke, and that’s where the smokers congregate.

    • “Right to smoke” bhahwhwhahahahahhhahahahah

    • Let’s not be too dramatic here. Smoking is permitted on the sidewalk outside of the park; I don’t think it’s too much to ask that anyone who wants to smoke just step outside of the park and then put the butt in a garbage can.

    • It’s not the smoke, it’s the garbage. And there are garbage cans, so there’s no excuse.

    • Don’t infringe on my right to give other people health problems with mysecond hand smoke or my right to throw my litter wherever I want, whenever I want!

    • There are trashcans in the dog park already… the solution exists, people just can’t help but litter… plus, they’re not suppose to smoke there.

  • Unfortunately people haven’t been treating that park well for a while now. People don’t pick up after their dogs and the smokers do leave a lot of butts all over. It’s a shame but I don’t think those who made the problem will do anything to solve it.

  • I live by there, and my little dog enjoys it. It’s the only leash-free dog park in our neighborhood. I hope we get to keep our park. I’m not a smoker, so I don’t have a problem with keeping it smoke free. Also, there are ample garbage cans in the park, so there really is no excuse to leave it on the ground.

    • You can’t throw a cigarette in a garbage can, it causes fires. Its much safer to put butts on bare ground. Non-Smokers generally do not know this because they lack nicotine. 😛

      • I’m usually jacked up on caffeine, so I hadn’t noticed… but seriously, do something with the butt besides throwing it on the ground. Put it out on the bottom of you shoe or something, then take it with you.

        If it were *any other* piece of garbage, you and every smoker on here I think would agree.

      • I don’t think this is a good excuse for throwing butts on the ground. If there’s no ash tray, then hold on to your butt till you get to one. If I’m walking my dog and he takes a shit and there’s no trash can right there, I don’t just throw up my hands and walk away. I pick up his shit and walk with it until I get to a trash can and throw it out.

      • Pathetic excuse. I’m a heavy smoker and extinguish my butts then throw them in a trash can, it requires minimal effort.

  • Who sucks (and blows) more?


    Or Bicyclists?




    • Bicyclists are generally more physically fit, therefore more likely to get laid, therefore more likely to be in a position to suck and blow.

  • The solution is cigarettes shouldn’t have filters. They never break down. But filterless butts burn away or break down immediately – I know ’cause my grandma smoked Camel straights for 40 years. Also, lots of people would quit if only filterless cigarettes wre available.

  • All of you moaning about smokers are the same whiners that have 3 drinks and then ask me for a cigarette.

    • Not me. I have, literally, about 2.5 cigarettes a year but sympathize with smokers completely.

    • And you’re the fucking asshole who gives me one! You bastard!

      • Yes, because as soon as you have that first cigarette you’ll be hooked and will spend the rest of your life smoking 5 packs a day (eye roll)…

  • This is part of a larger problem with this park. It is NOT a DPR park and the hope was always that the many regular users would band together and create an association that worked to regularly maintain and, eventually, try to improve the space via a better surface, etc., via other informal park associations I’ve seen be effective in many other locations.

    While SOME users have stepped up on occasion, thusfar, no one has expressed any interest in creating a more organized friends of the dog park for, say, weekly or bi-weekly clean-ups, to serve as a point of contact for the community and with neighborhood orgs, to push fundraising to improve the space (both from abutting private businesses, regular users, and the city), creating rules for use, installing more permanent seating, protecting the trees that remain in the location, and addressing issues such as this.

    I want to see the dog park remain in use (the space before was not great either, trash-strewn and basically useless), but I also don’t want a litter / cigarette / feces strewn dirt patch that no one is stepping up to help maintain and/or improve on a CONSISTENT basis. It wouldn’t take all that much, and it’s to the point where sticks may be needed in place of carrots — maybe if the city closed the park until a group of users agreed to take responsibility for the space / serve as points of contact / etc., park users wouldn’t take this space, which was a gift / experiment from the city, so for granted … (I made some of these suggestions a month back on the Dog Park Facebook site, and was blocked from the site and banned from further posting, so I’m relieved to see that pressure is coming from other sources as well).

    • The dogpark at Walter Pierce Park always has dog poop all over. It annoys me greatly. I will spend some time cleaning up all the poop – last saturday it was 5 bags full to clean it all up.

      I finished, played with my pup, and headed home. Went in on Sunday, and found 5 fresh piles.

      People are bastards. (but no cigarette butts)

    • +1 agree 100% with NoLongerNew2CH. if you use the park (aka the converted metro maintenance area opened up as a favor to the community), take some responsibility for it and show some leadership.

      • you clearly seem to feel more strongly about it than all the users of the park you’re lambasting, so why don’t you go ahead and take some leadership?

        what you’ll find is that it’s not as easy as you think to organize a disparate group of people, propose improvements on city property, or find funding for projects that cost tens of thousands of dollars (check into recent dog park construction costs in the city if you don’t believe me) for even modest improvements.

        as a former user of the park, i can tell you that it’s a very much “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” approach. the park is serviceable for the people who use it. the surface isn’t great, but that’s an expensive improvement. sometimes an owner will neglect to pick up their poop, but this doesn’t happen within sight of other owners, and it’s not a problem to the point of tons of poop laying around. and most people who take their dog to run around for 20 minutes in the morning or evening haven’t the first clue about how to protect a tree.

        so if you yearn for leadership there – be it. everyone else is following or getting out of the way.

        • Ruff, ummm, hate to break it to you, but I’m already a WEE bit busy with community leadership / volunteering (click on my link if you don’t believe me) to spend even MORE time trying to organize users of a dog park that I don’t even use. It really should be on the actual USERS of the space to take care of it and try to improve it, not random third parties who are busy with other things in the community already. I happen to know a heck of a lot about organizing people to try to get things done, in this city and elsewhere, and yes, it ain’t easy. But despite multiple calls by me, and others, for a few owners of this dog park to step up to the plate and take some initiative, no one has even TRIED to organize users in a regular fashion. Heck, when I posted a few mild critiques on the dog park Facebook page (largely along these same lines) in an effort to maybe get some people motivated (after far more mild / pleasant calls for help went unheeded), I was immediately blocked from the page as a result.

          When this park was created as a favor from the city (which I was very supportive of even though I knew I would never use it), an experiment so that the space didn’t sit there, wasted, some (including William Jordan) bitched and moaned about it. I had faith that the regular users would appreciate and take ownership over space that was basically in limbo other than the fencing, and turn it into something really great, appreciating that this is the only feasible spot for any sort of dog space in the neighborhood. For once, I am afraid that Jordan may be proven right in this case. Which is a pretty sad statement in and of itself …

          Jim Graham, for example, has expressed interest in the past in trying to help get some funding for resurfacing the space (and from what I understand there are some options that would not be inordinately expensive for such a small space), so long as people in the dog park stepped up, got organized, arranged a meeting with him, and maybe tried to get some matching private funds. No one from the park really showed any interest / initiative in making it happen, leaving it to other people to take the lead. Again, it really can’t be an outsider. It has to be someone who regularly uses the park, knows some of the other users, preferably a few people so it’s not all on one person, create an organization, hold regular clean-ups, get an email list of users together, meet with local businesses who may want to contribute and/or talk to Graham / the ANC for funding, join in on the monthly NCHCA clean-ups (at a minimum) plus organize your own clean-ups, there are a million little things that could be done, but haven’t. Ultimately, it is about taking ownership over and pride in a space that folks enjoy on a consistent basis, just as you would if it were your own yard the dogs were running on and pooping in and you were leaving cigarette butts in. I hope some users will step up to prevent this nice community resource from being lost.

  • I wonder why this is a problem in CH but I’ve never seen anyone smoke at the 17th and S dog park? Maybe AstroTurf is the solution.

    • It is not allowed because of the Turf. People in that park WILL tell you not to smoke, before you could ever get a cigarette lit.

      • That’s what I don’t get…why not call out the people who don’t pick up after their dogs or leave the ciggies on the ground? Seriously, everyone’s a pus*** nowadays. Grow a pair and correct the jerks ruining it for everyone else.

    • I’ve never seen it at the Kingsman Field Park, or Lincoln Park (not a true dog park but everyone has their dogs off leashes there).

    • Wouldn’t the solution be moving the Dupont Circle population up here to Columbia Heights? If the people won’t change, change the people.

  • And here I thought you couldn’t be a dog-owner and a smoker simultaneously.

  • Literally every character in this story is a drama queen.

  • This is why we can’t have nice things.

  • So wait, it’s not even a official dog park? And there is no smoking? OK, this issue would not be an issue if people were not spending time with their dogs hanging out and smoking…except for that Poker Playing Dogs Poster, its not common to see dogs smoking.

    So Metro should stop people from using their property for a dog park and therefore no more butts.

  • I Love this man!!! Let’s hope he actually goes through with it if need be.

  • austindc

    While I agree that littering is bad (and it’s funny that we are even taking the time to say that), I think the problem is another case of people in this city not thinking about how they fit in to a larger urban environment. Yes, littering is silly. I also don’t like when people leave dog crap around. But these are issues that occur all over the city. This one is just underscored because no one is thinking about where that grate goes to when they toss their cigarette on it. It’s like if someone was jamming a cigarette into your USB port and you had to stop working to go fix it. You’d be pissed. Plus, there might be CHUDS down there for chrissake. So it’s not smokers who are the problem. As I have said before, the problem is that we have a city full of assholes (myself included). And for all of you considerate smokers who find ash trays and garbage cans for your butts, thank you! Keep setting a good example.

  • I am totally going to start smoking there.

  • I don’t smoke at the park or have a dog. If I had a dog, I would throw my buts on the sidewalk outside the park (I don’t see anyone threatening to close the sidewalk).

    If this is such a problem, why don’t they just put in a butt can? They can’t cost that much and people tend to use them. It seems way more sensible that closing a dog park and ruining it for all the innocent non-smoking dog owners (or those with enough to sense to throw their butts somewhere else).

    • Not really a heroic sentiment there, champ. Trashing the sidewalk is as bad and likely to incite protests from neighbors — who now know they can go to this fellow at metro to have everything shut down. Grow up — realize that the city isn’t your trash can.

  • The people who used the dog park ruined it. No more grass. Dog crap everywhere. You can smell it on hot days over at the pizza joint. It’s a nasty spot now. Should be closed to dog owners anyway, regardless of the smoking issue which is now icing on the poop cake. Typical lazy, entitled behavior ruining a potential good thing.

  • I feel sorry for dogs who live in downtown DC and who have smoker owners, they just don’t have shot at fresh air..

    no wonder so many dogs go missing, I’d be running away too..

    • You should really feel more sorry for the dogs who’s owners crate their 25 lb dogs for 9 hours everyday while they are at work and come home and take their dog out the front door to poop while being ignored because said owner is on their cell phone…then back inside for the night.

      3 minutes is all you can spare Rover? REALLY ?!!?

      • With all due respect, how do you know all this? I take mine out quickly after work to relieve themselves, but they get a longer walk later and some nights I play fetch with them. They also get a lot of play time indoors.

        My dogs like their crates… and I can’t think of anyone other than a retired person who can get away with not leaving them for 9 hours a day, at least for some point in their lives. For people in the suburbs it’s more like 11-12 hours.

        • My dog loves hers, it’s her area to be totally comfortable in that no one else gets to touch. When I cat sit for friends, and the cat goes into her crate, she growls to get him out, then lays in her crate staring daggers at the cat for catifying her space.

        • It puts the lotion on its skin or it gets the hose again!

  • Where is my dog going to enjoy a cigarette and a poop now?

  • I am sure I am late to this show, but I am a regular user of the park and a sometime smoker. Here are a few insights from reading the last 110 comments:

    1. People SHOULD do a lot of things, but they don’t. If you really like something, its important to do a little extra in order to keep what you have. I pick up my own dog’s poop as well as one other poop I find on the ground. I do this each time I go. Imagine how clean the park would be if everyone picked up 2x what their dogs lay down.

    2. Cigarette’s are easily separable into organic and inorganic components. If you haven’t finished your cigarette all the way down to the filter, simply pinch the area between the filter and the cherry and tear the rest of the paper and tobacco away, then throw your not-on-fire filter in the trash. You can also roll the cherry and extra tobacco out by twisting and rolling your fingers towards the lit part. Then toss your filter away.

    3. There are 2 trash cans (usually pretty full of poop) and quite smelly. Its not an excuse, but there is certainly no incentive to go over there from where the seating it. I will gladly purchase smokers poles (no jokes please) and put them up in the park. I just don’t know if that is acceptable, since there should be NO SMOKING on the property. I think it would fix the litter problem, but not the righteous indignation, so I guess we’ll see how the problem works out.

    4. Sorry this is so long.

    5. Cigarettes and dog poop are currently concentrated in this little space. Has anyone thought about what would happen if the park closes? Dogs will still poop and inconsiderate smokers will still toss their butts on the ground. Only it won’t be METRO ground, it’ll be the neighborhood ground where many more people will encounter that mess. After a couple years people might get sick of it and decide that there should be some place where smokers and dogs should go to keep all their messes away from the rest of the non-smoking non-dog loving populace. If only we could find some open space in this neighborhood…

    If everyone that goes to the park and is righteous and awesome and responsible and stuff does a little extra, it will make up for the irresponsible doofuses who make it a little worse. Use common sense and chill out a little, bro. This whole situation is like sharing a sink while in college. Everyone leaves dirty dishes, but I’d rather just spend 5 minutes washing extra dishes than engage in 6 months of passive-aggressive notes and stress over who isn’t properly completing their share of the work.

    C’mon everyone! We are the future!

    • As to your point 5: I agree that the poop and butts will go elsewhere, but it won’t be Metro’s problem, and since they’re the ones complaining, they could care less if it is elsewhere.

      As per point 2: I could give a rat’s d!ck that you can separate a cigarette and toss the parts away. Swallow, shove it where the sun don’t shine, stick it in your pocket. I could care less where it goes; just don’t throw it on the ground.

      I get sick of smoker’s rights frankly, but I understand they will continue to do their thing, and some of them will toss their butts where they will. Such is life.

      I agree with the sentiment of your last paragraph that people need to pull together to keep the park open. Maybe there should be a group (you can start it!) that organizes a bi-weekly cleanup. People meet up, pick up garbage, butts, random poo. Maybe spread some fresh dirt, gravel, etc. Taking the cleanup burden off of Metro would o a long way.

      I know that the Shaw dog park organizes monthly cleanups, and it has helped keep it open longer and spread good will with the neighbors (church, park users, etc.)

      • You’re right that it won’t be metro’s problem, but I was pointing out that everyone else in the neighborhood hoping for the park to close will likely find a much worse problem if the park does actually close. People won’t walk their dogs to Shaw or Petworth or Rock Creek, they will simply take a walk around their block and let the butts/poops fall by the way.

        Your second paragraph’s tone differs a bit. I was trying to explain to smokers how easy it is to ensure that a not-on-fire piece of trash can be obtained from a lit cigarette — thereby making it easier to toss in the proper receptacle.

        Lots of people get sick of lots of other people’s rights. I could go all Martin Niemoeller on you, but its probably best to recognize that they currently exist and that second hand smoke is only one of 100,000 little things in the environment that are killing you slowly every day. Why get so angry about just this one?

        The group organizing suggestion you post in response to my last paragraph (thanks for volunteering me by the way!) goes against my point. There is no need for group action if everyone just does a little bit in their own way every day. Incidentally, I have donated time, work, and money to the park’s improvement in the past and I will continue to do so for as long as it’s open.

  • Just a quibble with consistency–

    The Metro Supervisor told the OP that the basis for the ban against smoking at the dog not-quite-park is the systemwide ban against smoking. But Metro also bans dogs, other than service animals, systemwide.

  • More tiny fenced in dirt patches to collect all of this misery!!!

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