The Free Press, Mankato, MN

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January 21, 2014

Bikes make dog park unsafe

The city of Mankato parks department has decided to allow Mountain Bike trails in the best part of the Kiwanis “dog park” on Highway 169....the woods. Never mind bikes are already everywhere, they are in the streets, the many miles of trails, Mount Kato, Seven Mile Creek and any other park they want. Well they want, and got, what many of us knew as the “dog park.”

For the past eight years or so, the only people I saw were the guys going fishing and the many dog walkers. The nature is fantastic back there, but people are no longer allowed to explore off the trails for “your safety”... You could get hit by a bike.

Many of us thought this was an off leash area. It’s the dog park and no signs to say otherwise until now. It’s an unsafe scenario. The dog is at fault in any incident, on or off the leash. I fear someone will get hurt. Either a dog bite or get hit by a bike. The bike trail crosses over the walking trail and many dogs are bothered by the bikes.

The scenario the City has set up is unsafe and irresponsible with no regard for the dogs, their owners or nature.

I for one, won’t put myself, or my dog in such a no-win situation.

What used to be a quiet nature walk in the woods is now a unsafe scenario for anyone who goes there.

Robert and Rosemary Thede

North Mankato

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