The gleaming new attraction at Louisville’s Waterfront Park may already be looking at a policy change. The much talked about and now much visited Big Four Bridge pedestrian walkway may see a ban on dogs in the near future due to a messy situations that has come up.
The structure has been open for three weeks and has seen a steady influx of fitness walkers, cyclists, the curious and more. And the crowds grow larger on warmer days. The problem comes in when some of those who walk their dogs across the Ohio River to the Indiana side and back don’t clean up the inevitable mess such a long walk can leave behind.
While those connected to the Waterfront Park project remain split on whether dogs should be allowed or if there should be an outright ban, there is a city ordinance already in place that says that pet owners are to clean up after their dogs. But considering the amount of droppings being found on the Big Four Bridge, a significant number of owners do not pay attention to the law. Those droppings have led to a stream of complaints.
David Karem, president of the Waterfront Development Corporation, told the Courier-Journal that the agency is considering adding “dog stations” at points along the span to help with the problem. However, he also mentioned a potential downside of that He thought kids might use the provided bags as balloons and “fly” them off the bridge and into the river.
The pet owners that do the right thing would bemoan the banning of dogs on the bridge considering how beautiful the half mile walk across the river really is. And once the Jeffersonville, Indiana side completes work on their access ramp this summer, a dog ban would take away another portion of scenery those owners could enjoy with their pets.
Photo: Louisville.com/Tim Girton