Fancy paw-work on the trail

As a neighbor and frequent user of the Thomas Jefferson Parkway and also as a part-time employee of Monticello (full disclosure), I would like to commend and congratulate all who worked so hard to make this wonderful new addition to our community possible [Cover story, "Fancy Footwork: meandering to Monticello," December 12] (http://www.readthehook.com/92835/cover-story-fancy-footwork-meandering-m...).

I am writing in the hope that the Thomas Jefferson Foundation might reconsider its ban of dogs on the boardwalk portion of the Saunders Trail. In light of the fact that dogs are already permitted at Kemper Park and the grounds at Monticello itself, it seems unnecessarily restrictive to have a canine barrier separating these two sites.

If the issue is one of safety, surely a properly controlled, leashed dog creates no more danger to pedestrians than cyclists who seem to have difficulty maintaining the 10mph speed limit riding down the trail.

If sanitation is the main concern, perhaps a discreet sign reminding dog owners to clean up after their pets would do the trick. Also, there are several areas of the boardwalk where a dog feeling nature's call could make a quick detour off the trail to take care of business along with the geese, deer, squirrels, and various other fauna which inhabit the area. Might I suggest that perhaps lifting the ban on dogs could be adopted on a trial basis during these winter months and re-evaluated again in the spring when traffic on the trail picks up.

Anthony R. Savino
Charlottesville
savinoantonio@aol.com