« Florida Porsche Dealer Wrecks Customer's Car and Doesn't Care | Main | Speaking of Commonwealth Avenue »


Erik Schwartz

I think I've broken every single one of those rules.

Loose dog? Yup.

Motor vehicles? Yup.

Alcohol? Yup.

Rollerblading? Yup

Active sports? Yup ;-)

Vendors? No

11:30 Curfew? Broken that too.

The dangers of going to HS right on Commonwealth avenue.


You shoulda taken a picture of her and posted it. ;o)

Check the rules at

SECTION 3. No person shall, in any public park (including any boundary road thereof), or other public place (including any parkway) under the control of the Parks and Recreation Commission, except under the auspices of public authority or in a place especially set apart for the purpose by the Parks and Recreation Commission:

(a) have or allow any animal, except a dog on a leash no longer than eight feet, or cat under proper control; or walk a dog in a designated Dog Free Zone; or

(b) have, ride, or drive any vehicle except a wheelchair, baby carriage or other like vehicle; or

(c) moor or use a boat or raft; or

(d) skate, or coast with a sled; or

(e) use a bicycle, scooter, roller skates, skateboard or the like; or

(f) play ball or any other game or sport; or

(g) run in a race; or

(h) bathe or swim; or

(i) fish; or

(j) make a fire; or

(k) have or allow any animal, including a cat or dog, with the exception of a seeing eye dog for a blind or handicapped person, on a leash, within the boundaries of the Public Garden.

(l) play golf or hit golf balls;

Mr. Weebles

Wow, those rules are harsh.

I guess you're just supposed to stand there and look at shit. How boring.


Seriously? "(f) play ball or any other game or sport;"

I'd love to see that enforced. Hey you kids! Get that "tag" shit outta this park!"



Interesting legal research. I would argue, if faced with a summons for such a violation, that the posted sign controls. (Like the speed law.)

However, this woman wasn't citing the city rules; she was citing the sign. She specifically said, "look at the sign." We were about 100' from the sign. I should have run to check. In her condition, she wouldn't have gotten more than 20 feet before I got back to make my point.

Michael Maggard

Walkers, baby strollers, pets on leases, etc. using a narrow walkway are all fundamentally incompatible with bicyclists.

I know this is going to anger some of the bicyclists, but they (we) are vehicle traffic.

Pedestrians, folks with strollers, those attached to animals with leases, all move comparatively slowly and often wildly erratically. Bicyclists typically move an order of magnitude faster and are unable to stop or turn nearly as quickly as required to prevent accidents.

The same as bicyclists don’t belong on highways due to the mismatch of speed & maneuverability they also don’t belong on walkways. Take to the adjacent streets, dismount your vehicle and stroll to the next leg of your journey (is walking really so awful?), or just take a different route, just please don’t try and unilaterally appropriate pedestrian walkways with your vehicular troupe.

You may be the best bicyclists in the world, the children the most attentive in human history, all with amazing visual acuity, preternatural street-smarts, lightening-fast reflexes, capable of ignoring all urban distractions and focusing exclusively on driving, every vehicle perfectly tuned and superbly equipped with the best possible brakes and whatever else; you’re still not appropriate. A dog stepping out from behind it’s walker, a toddler weaving across the path, an already unstable senior making a lurch to the side, a photographer blithely stepping back to get a great shot, and disaster would result. Those are the nature of the Commonwealth Ave. Mall and fundamentally incompatible with your insistence on vehicle riding.

Swallow your pique (and the childish L’esprit de l’escalier insults) and instead investigate leading your expeditions on routes both legal and suitable.

Finally, consider that the woman you so offended may have had to reason to be upset. Twice this spring I’ve seen dog/bicyclist accidents.

Once on the SE Corridor Park when a medium sized dog was hit by a bicyclist. The rider was busy going around a crowd on a walkway and apparently didn’t see the dog down low–both were bowled over but neither seemed badly hurt. However the other accident was a gruesome dragging of a small dog by it’s leash. It was on the path by the Charles River Lagoon, when a bicyclist apparently rode between a walker and their dog. A howl of agony went up as everyone looked over to see dog being dragged on the pavement for a good 20 feet before the bike wedged up and spilled over. Even from a distance it was obvious the animal was badly hurt, not moving as it’s owner picked up it’s bloody body, and after breaking loose of the crowd hurried away to get it help. The bicyclist was also hurt with nasty road-rash on one side and clearly shook up, but eventually able to walk away on their own.

That could have been you or one of the children in your care, and that mangled animal also one of your’s responsibility. Can you honestly say that all of your group would have seen in, in the competing distractions of riding together down Comm. Ave. Mall, a small dog on a leash and successfully, safely (to everyone) avoided it?


I'm sick of crazy people yelling at folks for alleged breaking of rules when they don't even know what they're talking about. I think they just decide what they WISH the rules were, or they saw it on a sign SOMEWHERE (ie: the Public Garden) so they think it's the rule everywhere.

I also don't think what Michael said about cyclists quite applies to kids on bikes. When I was growing up I learned to ride my bike on the sidewalk and I don't think my parents or anyone else would have liked me riding in the road. Likewise kids playing in a park on their bikes is fine and I don't think they belong in the street. People commuting to work? Of course. Out for a distance ride? Yes. Kids hanging out on a weekend afternoon? In the park please, not the road.


"og being dragged on the pavement for a good 20 feet" well, that's it, death to all bicyclists.

or maybe accidents happen and you don't really know who was at fault. i've seen dogs off leashes, dogs on long leashes where the owner was on one side of the sidewalk and the dog on the other and lots of other stupid things dog owners do.

so maybe you should get off your high horse (which, by the way, is also not allowed in the parks)

Michael Maggard

wow Cream - you really skewered everything I had to say, and summed it up so succinctly with "death to all bicyclists".



I can't say the kids won't crash into anything, but they were being very careful. Had there been approaching toddlers, I'd have intervened. Thanks for teaching me some French.

I'm clear on one thing, at least: if it comes to a choice between using a park for kids or using it for dogs, the dogs have got to go.

Oh, and your comment makes you sound nearly as pompous as the subject woman, who added, as she huffed away, "I do a lot of fundraising for the parks."



Michael Maggard - Yeah, sorry I had to put you in your place with such a succinct counter argument to your amazing 9 paragraph diatribe.


This is a losing battle. The dog owners and the bike riders are like every other political group. There's never any middle ground and the other party is always breaking some rule. I'm currently the owner of an erratic dog and an erratic 5 year old bike rider, so I give up. Death to snooty old ladies, I say.


Wow, CP, you really seem to have struck a chord here. Or several.


Yes, Luke. Nothing but real crime here in the big city.

The comments to this entry are closed.