Dog owners in Astoria, Queens, have for years suffered dog-run envy. As fancy new runs have popped up around New York, Astoria residents have wondered when they might get their own.
Now, through the participatory budgeting process and public largess, their moment appears to have arrived. Local officials recently announced that they had pooled enough money to convert a basketball court under the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge into a dog run.
But many residents, including some in the vanguard of the yearslong lobby for the run, were stunned by the estimated price tag: $1 million.
“I didn’t trust my ears initially,” Erin Kirby, media and marketing secretary for the Astoria Dog Owners Association, said. “We were shocked by that.”
City officials said the projected cost was in line with the budgets of other recently built dog runs. Still, for many Astorians the estimate has been a bittersweet introduction to the high costs of capital projects in the city.