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$15.82 million allocated for alley maintenance in FY 2016 with “AlleyPalooza 4.0”

by Prince Of Petworth — November 21, 2016 at 3:40 pm 18 Comments

Photo by PoPville flickr user Jamelle Bouie

From a press release:

“Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser joined District Department of Transportation (DDOT) Director Leif Dormsjo to launch the District’s fourth AlleyPalooza campaign and announce historic investments in Washington, DC’s alleys. Through increased budget allotments, better financial management, and aggressive program management, the Bowser Administration has been able to increase funding for alley maintenance and rehabilitation to unprecedented levels. In fiscal year 2014, $4.13 million was spent on alley maintenance and rehabilitation. In fiscal year 2015, this funding increased to $13.95 million – more than three times the amount spent the previous year, and in fiscal year 2016 the funding increased again to $15.82 million.

“We are investing in Washington, DC’s alleys at historic levels because they are a key part of our infrastructure and their condition is of vital importance to the health of the District,” said Mayor Bowser. “AlleyPalooza 4.0 builds on a highly successful initiative and demonstrates our commitment to ensuring that Washington, DC’s infrastructure is safe and reliable.”

AlleyPalooza is the Mayor’s initiative to repair and renovate alleys in all eight wards. Since launching AlleyPalooza in 2015, nearly 300 alleys have been improved throughout Washington, DC.

The District has more than 350 miles of alleys and receives several hundred service requests for alley repairs each year. To ensure that alleys most in need of repair were selected for AlleyPalooza, DDOT implemented a data-driven approach to selecting alleys by creating an assessment tool similar to the system used for roadways. The factors used by the assessment tool include: the condition of the alleys; number of service requests; age of the service requests; and community feedback.

“Mayor Bowser’s focus on infrastructure is crucial and has enabled us to enhance the quality of life for residents in all eight wards,” said DDOT Director Leif Dormsjo. “We’re investing approximately $10 million to repair or reconstruct alleys for AlleyPalooza 4.0. This type of targeted investment will pay dividends now and in the future.”

“I have seen firsthand how AlleyPalooza has benefited communities and improved the District’s infrastructure,” said Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner Hector Huezo (ANC 1C02). “Mayor Bowser’s focus on improving DC’s alleys is much appreciated.”

More than 70 alleys have already been repaired in 2016, and the District will continue its momentum of tackling the worst alleys as part of its core program.

Track the daily progress of work at all 64 AlleyPalooza 4.0 sites at ddot.dc.gov and follow @DDOTDC on Twitter for regular updates.”

  • sigh

    how about she pave the *$(@$ing roads? The situation with paving on major roads is worse today than at any time since I moved here 15 years ago. Rhode Island Avenue eastbound from Logan to around New Jersey Avenue is an absolute travesty, like a road in a third world country with an ongoing military conflict raging.

    • B’dale Res

      just wait until DC Water takes over RI Ave….

    • wdc

      A. No it isn’t. Anyone who says it is hasn’t been to a developing country in conflict. Sure, DC roads might be a little rough, but let the residents of South Sudan have some distinction here. (Less than 5k miles of paved road in the whole country, which is the size of Texas.)
      B. I love my new alley. It’s so pretty and smooth and the residents are inspired to keep it clean, at least for now.

      • sigh

        have you driven on that stretch of RIA lately? Ok maybe not South Sudan, maybe Cairo.

        • wdc

          Yeah, I have. It’s just not that bad compared to what you compared it to.
          Which is no excuse! A city/ country as rich as this one should have its roads in perfect condition all the damn time. But like I said, quit swaggerjacking the poor folks.

    • ET

      I get the desire for exaggerating because many roads need attention but they aren’t third world and they aren’t even as bad as some places in the US (looking at you New Orleans).

    • jumpingjack

      My thoughts exactly. Driving on Blair Road (a major thoroughfare) between Kansas and Piney Branch is like going off-roading. The surface is so bad it causes traffic jams. It’s been like that for years with no attempts at improvement.

  • Rick

    That’s great. Meanwhile, our streets are a pockmarked mess. Priorities.

  • George

    In fairness, a lot of roads are getting better, and I think this city can do two things at once. Keep repaving the streets Mayor, and thanks for giving some attention to the alleys. I expect the budget for redoing streets far exceeds $15.82m.

  • Anon H St

    Yes, please just have re-pave-palooza instead. I don’t care about my alley.

    • Marty

      and those freakin pothole-filling snorkle machines just make a mess. they don’t really fill the pothole for longer than 48 hours. the roadwork needs to be by professionals.

  • Sixteen MILLION dollars???? I damn well want some very detailed proposals here!!!

  • chasscott

    For my job, I’ve travelled to over 50 countries developed, developing and undeveloped. The condition and upkeep of Washington, DC’s streets are near the bottom of the developed ones and below those of many of the developing countries.

    The quality of new and replacement paving here is usually substandard compared to those of many adjoining and not too distant states. The pavement of new and repaired streets looks shoddy to begin with and deteriorates quickly. The contractors’ abilities seem to be questionable. How are they chosen? Certainly not for competency.

    I have a good Russian friend Andrei, who visits me here often. Every time we drive around, he always comments that streets in DC “are just like in old Soviet Union”!

    • textdoc

      In Soviet Russia, road bumps YOU!

    • CE

      Couldn’t agree more. I’ve been to many cities in developing countries with better roads. And metro systems, come to think of it.

  • Jon

    Couple annoying quirks…

    One would hope they spend the money in a collborative smart way that overlaps DC’s other state policies, like minimizing runoff.

    DC pays DC residents millions of dollars a year to help them install permeable paving on their own sidewqalks and parking pads, yet won’t do it when they redo alley’s. DC re-did all the alleys in a 3 block area around my house last year and tore up all the old pavement to dirt and put concrete back down. This is in an area just north of that mess of an area around Florida/RI where in heavy rain events, everyones basement fills with water because the streets are flooded.

    I reached out to the DDOT program manager in charge after a couple days and I saw what they were doing and asked why they weren’t taking the opportunity to make all the alley’s permeable. To his credit, he came out and met me, but seemed absoltely in the dark about DC Department of the Environments goals, policies and subsidies and just said (the extra cost would mean we would have to likely reduce the amount of alley’s repaved this summer by 25%).

    He really didn’t get that it could also saving the city and its residents millions of dollars in not having to upgrade storm sewers.

    I did a quick take off of the alley’s just in my neighborhood and we lost a perfect opportunity to turn what was ~ a couple acres of impermeable surface, into permeable surface. How many more acres of lost opportunity are we going to have this year in the District?

    Secondly, I also second “what about the freaking roads”. DDOT’s repaving budget for the entire District, a few thousand lane miles of road was 23.5 million dollars last year.

    Yes…you read that right. It is down from almost 50 million in 2007…It increased steadily from 1998 to 2007 and it decreased steadily since and anyone who has driven on a DC street can certainly tell. Taking into account for inflation, DC spent more on its repaving budget in 1999 than it did last year. I haven’t seen DC streets this bad since Barry was mayor and we also couldn’t get our trash picked up.

    I suspect it was related to the streetcar being more than 5 years late and 100 million over budget, and also fighting for capital dollars in DDOT’s budget. We basically consumed 4 years of the entire DC street paving budget in the overage for that one project…

  • So what exactly should it cost to pave a road? There should certainly be established figures by now – it isn’t a new thing. Labor & materials are pretty much fixed costs.

  • Ward One Resident

    For those of you living on alleys that are about to be redone, be careful what you wish for. If your alley is remotely a cut-through between streets, they will be come speed zones. Ever since my alley was redone, it’s INSANE how fast people drive down it.


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