Finding Success in the Human Quadrant at Blackstone/ Franklin

On first look, relaxing in the ‘Human Quadrant’ doesn’t sound like good times at all.

In fact, it might feel more ‘Buck Rogers’ than Blackstone/Franklin.

First impressions what they are, the fact of the matter is the Blackstone/Franklin Squares Neighborhood Association (BFSNA) and the Parks Department has found great success this pandemic summer with the first official pilot of a Human Quadrant – which comes as a peace agreement between non-dog people and dog owners who all use the two squares.

BFSNA President Toni Crothall said at the September meeting of the Association this year – the first official year of the compromise – has shown great traction as those who wish not to have contact with dogs have their area and those wishing to use the park for leashed and off-leash dog activities have three areas (Both Franklin and Blackstone Squares are arranged in four quadrants divided by large sidewalks).

“We feel like there has been a lot of traction with our new borders because it looks very official with the sign and what the Parks Department has done,” said Crothall. We’re finding there is much more mixed uses in the Squares. It isn’t a dog park and the Facebook and Social Media has been supportive. I think it’s been a solid success.”

The Human Quadrant appeared last summer in a very unofficial way as a test to see if there could be peace made between dog owners and non-dog owners. Many of those with dogs enjoy a community gathering with friends while their dogs play off-leash in the quadrants, and meanwhile those with children or without dogs don’t wish to have to navigate gallivanting pooches to get some outdoor respite. It has often boiled down to anger in the parks at one another, but more frequently cheap shots and arguments on social media from both sides.

Crothall and BFSNA put together the quadrant idea to make peace – and it seems to have worked.

Chloe Voight lives adjacent to Blackstone and said she and her children have been happy to have a space that is guaranteed to not have dog “residue” on it.

“We have been trying the last 12 or 13 years to use the park more and more,” she said. “Now that there is the Human Quadrant, we can use it more and more. Ever since they put it up, we try to go out there every day with some soccer balls and flying kits. We do use that section as much as possible. Unless non-dog owners are in the park, we won’t get that balance…If we all collaborate with the parks, it’s going to be a much better outcome.”

She added knowing that there is an area where her kids can play that has no dog pee or pick-up “residue” is very important. Crothall said they are also inviting more dog owners to weigh in on their experiences with the quadrant system in the two Squares, but for now, it’s seemed to work

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