When the Ithaca Commons was built in 1975, a general ban on dogs was put in place. Some exceptions have been made -- dogs are allowed to accompany their owners to work or to their domicile with a City-issued permit, and at one time dogs were allowed to be walked to a grooming salon in the 200 block.
The Ithaca/Tompkins County Convention and Visitors Bureau reports that it has received complaints from tourists because the Ithaca Commons is not "dog-friendly". The Downtown Ithaca Alliance has received similar complaints from tourists and local residents alike.
Many other cities, such as Santa Cruz, CA, have recently become "dog-friendly" in an effort to encourage tourism. The Downtown Ithaca Alliance is considering asking the City of Ithaca to adopt a trial period to permit dogs on the Commons. We'd like your input -- we want to know whether you would support such a change in the City ordinance, and if so, what specific language you'd want to have added.