Roosevelt Islander Online: Roosevelt Island Rivercross Coop Building Votes To Continue Ban On Dogs In Place Since 1975

The Roosevelt Island Rivercross coop building shareholders voted last week not
to change their current bylaws prohibiting dogs in units (except those for
service/emotional support). The policy has been in place since Rivercross
opened in 1975.

Rivercross resident Ellen Polivy reacts to the vote:

Rivercross won’t be letting in dogs at this time. We failed to pass an
amendment to the proprietary lease to allow dogs in the building. To amend
the lease requires a 2/3 super majority of the total shares to vote yes.
Unfortunately, the yes votes did not clear that very high bar. Many people
who didn’t vote might not have understood that not voting was counted as a
no vote. But many might have been ambivalent.  

I feel sad and disappointed. I hoped more neighbors would be more kindly
focused on the benefits of “man’s best friend” to our well-being and mental
health. But this won’t happen now. I have to remember that up until
recently, Roosevelt Island was a no-dog Island, and I have to admit, much as
I like dogs, it was much cleaner then.  

I think many of the no voters and some of the abstainers in our building
feared that their neighbors just-might-possibly turn out to be the same
inconsiderate-slob dog owners they see evidenced around the Island. Some
voters were not willing to take that chance no matter how generous they
might have been inclined to be towards their neighbor. Lazy dog owners sully
every other dog owner’s reputation, Even the responsible dog owners get

I have begun to understand that a new conversation needs to be started if we
are to have non-dog people comfortable having dogs in their previously
pristine spaces. We have a sloppy dog problem here on the Island. According
to complaints I’ve heard, some parts of our little Island’s grass and tree
beds are littered with dog poo. Some people are just not picking up after
their pets. These are places where children play, families picnic, people do
yoga and sunbathe and garden. 

I, myself have put my yoga mat on the ground in more than one place and
turned my face toward a smelly dried turd. I don’t know where dogs are
supposed to go to relieve themselves and which green spaces is an acceptable
dog toilet where people should be warned not to put down their mats due to
high concentrations of whatever came out of your pet. I can respectfully
suggest curbing your dog is a good first start. But not being a dog owner
myself, I have no idea what curbing your dog really means for someone
walking their dog on the promenade. My personal peeve is people who let
their dogs urinate under overhangs where the rain can’t wash it away and
where it remains as a constant sticky stain until someone from RIOC or
building maintenance cleans it.  

Two suggestions:  

I humbly suggest that another step in helping people be responsible might be
for all of us to carry an extra bag, catch lazy owners in the act and make a
show of cleaning up for them if they don’t do it themselves. Or perhaps,
everyone should carry an extra bag and pick up dried feces when you see

It takes very little effort and the selfless act will get the Island much
cleaner. I am throwing out some suggestions as a way to get this conversation
started, action going. Perhaps dog owners taking action to clean up the island
will help non dog lovers become more comfortable accepting dogs in their

Instagram readers comment:

  • That’s really unfortunate. We have dogs in island house and it’s never been
    a nuisance.
  • I remember when dogs were not allowed anywhere on the island😂 outside,
    buildings, everywhere.
  • Don’t know how we would have weathered the pandemic so far without our
  • I would love to live in Rivercross but I didn’t realize there were so many
    rules and regs. Are cats 🐈‍⬛ 🐈 allowed?

Dogs are also not allowed on the Rivercross lawn though that policy is rarely,
if ever, enforced.

 Instagram comments:

If they want to enforce no dogs on the grass then I suggest they move the 💩
bag post to another area because it implies you can walk your dog here

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