The Alleyways initiative fits relates to the Muncie Action Plan (MAP) Initiative 5; Managing Community Resources. Specifically, it relates to Action 5.6, Implement models of sustainable design around the city. Alleys are part of a large network of supporting infrastructure, both for local traffic (including bike, pedestrian, and sometimes vehicle traffic) and for things such as stormwater runoff and sometimes trash removal. Alleys are especially prominent in older neighborhoods built in the traditional design, which is how Industry was built. These alleys are often under maintained, but are still used for all of these purposes.
Why this is important
Alleys were brought up at the January 2015 Industry Neighborhood Association meeting as a safety concern. Alleyways are often poorly lit and, as a result, can be places of high crime. In Industry there is a large network of alleyways that often run parallel to nearby streets, which in the case of Madison, Macedonia, and Willard (the busiest streets bordering or within the neighborhood) these alleys are especially important. Crime is most associated with businesses rather than residences, and these alleys provide escape avenues.
At the March meeting, residents and students voiced their opinions on what initiatives should be prioritized the highest. This initiative received a medium ranking, which indicates there are more important things to attend to, but this will be a priority after some of the other things are fixed.
What this will Involve
To complete this initiative the neighborhood and neighborhood association need to come up with a strategic plan to allocate efforts in small parts of the neighborhood at a time. The process should flow from the neighborhood as a whole to either a committee or a single point person. This person or committee will need to be in contact with the Public Works Department for Muncie to determine where their resources are being allocated within the neighborhood.
Contact information for FUNDING/ASSISTANCE sources
Department of Community Development
300 N. High St. City Hall
Muncie, IN 47305-1639
Phone: (765) 747-4825
Fax: (765) 747-4898
Contact: Ms. Terry Bailey, Director
Department of Public Works
Case Study One
Last year the neighborhood of South Linden, located within Columbus, Ohio, successfully lobbied the city council to fund the addition of over 250 new lights to their alleys. South Linden has had an issue with crime in the neighborhood and came together as a community to identify the alleys as a potential primary cause to the influx in crime.
The end result of the lobbying the city council for lighting is the installation of 266 lights to go in the alleys at a cost of $365,456 (www.dispatch.com). The community and the police are in favor of the lights and with the additional support they were able to garner 100 watt street lights which match the wattage used on residential streets. The money came from the Urban Infrastructure Recovery Fund, a fund started in 1992 for these projects.
Case Study Two
The other case study is the Ashoka’s Community Greens work in Baltimore. They work in residential blocks where 80% of the residents agree to make a physical alteration to their alleyway. Ashoka Community Greens works with the residents of that block to create an alley that is more private and more aesthetically pleasing. For example, the alleys will often put in a gate, and add plants and places to sit (example below in Figure 2)