Alley Cleanup

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Topic: Alley Cleanup

PoPville May 7, 2013 at 7:32 am

Alley Cleanup

Does anyone have success stories on cleaning up their alley?  My alley is overall pretty nice – the road is in good condition, and the alley itself is wider than some others in the city.  The problem is all the neighbors are encroaching on the space in the alley, making it unpassable in a small car.  In some spots its trash cans that are left out there permanently (not just on trash day), other placess its people parking their cars in the alley, and in one spot (and the most annoying) are large, overflowing trash bags that clearly aren’t getting picked up on trash day.  
In some spots bushes are spilling out of yards, and I plan on offering my trimming services to those neighbors when I get the chance to speak to them.
Its frustrating that my neighborhood could have a nice, clean, usable alley, some residents just don’t respect the space.  

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I feel your pain; this kind of stuff is really annoying.  You can call 311 and explain the problem; DPW should be able to come out and issue warnings/tickets.  Make a note of the confirmation number and follow up on the request.  It sounds like the ideal thing might be a neighborhood “Fix-It” (where multiple D.C. agencies come out to a given area and look at various problems), but I’m not sure if that’s something you can get scheduled on your own or if you need the pull of your ANC Single Member District rep to get one.

One thing we did a couple summers ago is to have a big block party in our alley to bring the neighbors together. Before the block party, we had an alley clean up day. We picked up trash, put it in the trash cans, and got it out of the way for the party. Then we had a lot of fun grilling burgers, drinking beer, and chatting until the wee hours of hte night. I think once people realized how usable the alley could be and started to get to know their neighbors, people started to think of the alley as shared space and most are better about keeping it clean. We still have some problems with cars parked out into the alley, but by and large folks are better about it.

I feel your pain also. I’ve called both DPW and Tommy Wells’ office. DPW will give out warning tickets, but what good is it if you don’t follow-up? Needless to say they were both of no help.

You can also fill out a request form on 311’s website (  I do it all the time bc our alley is disgusting.  They will come out within a month to clean it up.  Of course, now we’ve got a certain trash inspector handing out tickets to random people on the block, but that’s city living.

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