To some folks in Beaver Falls, PA., the sagging sales and foot traffic in the downtown business district isn’t a result of a depressed economy or consumers opting for online retailers and big box stores. No, it’s too many people walking their dogs down the sidewalk. So apparently the solution is to ban dogs from the area.
“It’s hard enough (for the elderly) to maneuver down the street on (their) own,” the City Manager tells the Beaver County Times about the stretch of city sidewalk that some say is overrun by dogs “as big as ponies.” And don’t even get him started about the pooches tethered to parking meters.
He says he’s received complaints from shopkeepers about dog-walkers being a blight to local businesses.
One long-time employee at a clothing store in the Beaver Falls business district says it only makes sense that the sight of more dogs means fewer shoppers.
“When the city was a little more hustle and bustle,” she explains, “you didn’t see as many people walking pets up here.”
This person has likely not been to any number of major cities where the poshest, busiest shopping areas are also frequently populated by pedestrians and their pooch pals.
Critics say the city is focusing on a simple scapegoat (scapedog?) rather than making an investment in actually cleaning up dirty sidewalks.
“What they need to do is patrol the street,” one resident, who says there is more trash on the street than dog droppings, tells the Times.
No specific details of the ban have been released, but the city is expected to discuss the legal issues before the end of the year.
“Whether they agree with (tighter restrictions) or not,” said the City Manager, “people need to know that we’re making an effort to make the town look better.”
Beaver Falls considers banning dogs in business district [TimesOnline.com]