As an 85-year-old senior citizen who has been a frequent visitor to Robert E Lee Park for more than 20 years, I feel compelled to respond to Maris Baker's commentary about dog walkers in the park ("Off the leash and out of luck," Nov. 12).
I have walked in many parks and trails in Maryland and have never seen dogs off leash except in Robert E. Lee Park. To the best of my knowledge, it is state law that dogs must be on a leash in public areas, including parks and trails.
Ms. Baker's feels she is somehow exempt from this law. Before the county took over the trail it was not unusual to see dog waste in plastic bags hung from trees as if they were holiday ornaments, or deposited in piles along Falls Road.
The fact that for 30 years she has been walking her dogs off-leash indicates the failure of the city to maintain the park properly. I have personally experienced being surrounded by barking dogs, practically knocked off the trail by a large running dog and was recently jumped on by a dog that almost caused me to fall.
The usual response from owners when I call for help is that their dog doesn't bite. I am really not interested in finding out whether they do or not. But since the county took over the park, the vast improvement in the trails and the rest of the park has been a pleasure. The only complaint I have is that dogs still run off leash in violation of the law.