MAGGIE DALEY PARK — A key parks group is pitching a potential compromise to the Maggie Daley Park dog ban, and the Chicago Park District is listening.
Grant Park Conservancy President Bob O'Neill said Thursday that he is negotiating a deal with the park district that would allow dog owners to walk their pets along the sidewalk east of the new park's Cancer Survivor's Garden. The dog-friendly path would continue through the presently unfinished Peanut Park on East Randolph Street to Lake Michigan.
"I'm getting good feedback [from the park district] on that," O'Neill told neighbors at Thursday's Grant Park Conservancy meeting. "These things are about compromises."
If approved, the deal would represent just a compromise to Downtown dog owners, many of whom want to take in the sparkling new Maggie Daley Park with their furry friends. But it would certainly be more palatable than the current outright ban that forces many dog owners to Lower Columbus Drive or other taxing detours to Grant Park's southern end. Millennium Park, which is owned by the City of Chicago, also enforces a dog ban.
Any compromise would likely not take effect until Peanut Park —a tract of land at Maggie Daley Park's northeast corner — is completed later this year. A public meeting on Peanut Park's design is coming but has not been scheduled yet, O'Neill said.
The ban has irked nearby dog owners since it was announced late last year. That announcement — which some neighbors viewed as a broken promise to dog owners — even drew the ire of Ald. Brendan Reilly (42nd).
A Chicago Park District spokeswoman was not available late Thursday night.
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