Revitalizing the alleys

The City of Los Angeles has more than 12,000 alleys (900 linear miles), many of which could be revitalized and used positively by the community-as is happening, for example, in Chicago, Seattle and Baltimore.

These cities have started revitalization plans for back streets that otherwise become a magnet for garbage, crime and prostitution. In Los Angeles , this issue has been studied, and there were intentions to create a similar program. However, the good intentions have run into budget limitations.

However, in certain parts of Los Angeles , alleys are becoming serious threats to public safety where murders and other crimes happen. The majority of the alleys are in South Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley , but not all of them are at the border of filth and danger. A 2008 study by the University of Southern California Center for Sustainable Cities found that a majority of these alleys are not in such bad condition, but neglect tends to worsen the situation. The possibility of investing funds to revitalize the worst alleys should be considered.

This is especially true because studies have found that when this happens, the benefits for the surrounding community are many, including crime reduction, the expansion of walkable areas and increased connectivity with other neighborhoods.

There are even some projects to turn certain alleys into “green zones,” which is greatly needed in a city like Los Angeles, where only a small percentage of the space is devoted to parks and there are neighborhoods that completely lack green zones.