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Closing alleys to cut crime

JNL

Cyburbian
Messages
2,449
Points
25
Thought this might be of interest, from www.crimereduction.gov.uk

"Local authorities have been granted powers to seek the closure of alleyways in 52 areas, where the alleys facilitate burglary, robbery, drug dealing and arson. These alleyways no longer serve the purposes for which they were designed - in many cases decades ago.

Before they are able to close the alleys, local authorities must

-undertake a rigorous public consultation before closing or diverting a right of way

-provide evidence that a significant crime problem exists due to the alleyway, and

-demonstrate that other crime reduction measures have failed.

The new powers arise from long-standing criticism that the procedures for closing alleyways were complicated, poorly understood and overly bureaucratic. In February, local authorities were issued with new guidance on how to apply to have the areas designated (closed). Local highway authorities will normally take the lead, working with CDRPs, police authorities, local residents and community groups.

The Secretary of State will undertake to review the closure not more than 3 years following its implementation. The powers have been carefully formulated to enable the closure of problem urban alleyways, but not to enable the removal of rights of ways in rural areas where there is no good reason to do so."
- - -

They also discuss "alley-gaters", adding gates to alleyways because apparently "In some parts of London, it’s been demonstrated that a gate can bring down the number of rear access burglaries by up to 90%"
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,080
Points
34
Alleys are nothing but trash recepticles and crime zones! Get rid of them and ban any new ones!







OK, jordanb. Set-up for round two.
 

JNL

Cyburbian
Messages
2,449
Points
25
I was going to call the thread 'Alleys, Round 2' :)

One obvious thing it shows is that some alleys are not working well in England! Would be interesting to see pics of some of the troublesome ones, have a look at their design.
 

mike gurnee

Cyburbian
Messages
3,066
Points
30
Alleys are problems when "out of sight, out of mind". Our desire for privacy closes out the alley with 8 foot fences or whatever your code allows. If they were regularly used for garage access; if they were visable from adjacent properties; there would be less problems. Crime seeks hiding places, which many alleys provide. We have beer parties off my favorite alley. With so many people around the crime goes elsewhere.
 

Runner

Cyburbian
Messages
566
Points
17
mike gurnee said:
Alleys are problems when "out of sight, out of mind". Our desire for privacy closes out the alley with 8 foot fences or whatever your code allows. If they were regularly used for garage access; if they were visable from adjacent properties; there would be less problems. Crime seeks hiding places, which many alleys provide. We have beer parties off my favorite alley. With so many people around the crime goes elsewhere.
Very well put! It all comes down to design.
 

pete-rock

Cyburbian
Messages
1,551
Points
24
Michael Stumpf said:
Alleys are nothing but trash recepticles and crime zones! Get rid of them and ban any new ones!

OK, jordanb. Set-up for round two.
Mike, Mike, Mike. We have similar views on so many things, but I must diverge from you here. Alleys are only trash recepticles and crime zones when residents allow them to be. I happen to like the fact that my trash is never visible from the street. I like the fact that no curb cuts means my street not only has plenty of on-street parking for visitors, but has no "snout houses".

My neighborhood is a fairly dense single-family area, on the order of about 6-8 DUs per acre. Granted, alleys don't work everywhere (nor should they), but in my case, they work.

Mike, give 'em a chance!
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,080
Points
34
pete-rock said:
Mike, give 'em a chance!
OK. I was just trolling a bit. :)

Alleys do have their place. I happen to think they work very well in commercial areas and for development at some densities, such as Chicago's dense neighborhoods of single-family to four-flat houses. New multi-family is often better served by internal parking and circulation. In lower-density neighborhoods, alleys make no sense at all.
 

jordanb

Cyburbian
Messages
3,232
Points
25
There are a lot of old neighborhoods in Springfield that have a small lane between each house that accesses a small garage behind the house. The lane is narrow enough that the streetscape isn't broken much.

I think the deal with alleys is rear access. They provide access to the back of the building. If you can get access another way (like with the lane), then they're not necessary. Some things, like garages, utility wires, and dumpsters, just don't belong in front of the buildings, and the neighborhood should be designed so that they can be placed in the back.
 
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pete-rock

Cyburbian
Messages
1,551
Points
24
I remember seeing alleys behind rowhouses in Philadelphia that appeared to be very troublesome. They were no more than 10-12 feet wide, with garages and sheds coming right up to the alley, and virtually no visibility from the rear of the rowhouses through to the alley.

That's an alley that will bring crime.
 

michaelskis

Cyburbian
Messages
19,464
Points
44
jordanb said:


I think the deal with alleys is rear access. They provide access to the back of the building. If you can get access another way (like with the lane), then they're not necessary. Some things, like garages, utility wires, and dumpsters, just don't belong in front of the buildings, and the neighborhood should be designed so that they can be placed in the back.
Well put. I agree that they are needed for many of the public services. It was nice growing up in a city that had alleys on almost every block. Every one had to have off street parking, because there is a ban on over night parking in the winter. The alleys provided for this, and did not hinder the neighborhood feel of the building fronts.

We have very few alleys here in Reading, and our crime is still bad. Trash is dumped on the streets, drug dealers just stand on side streets. We wished we had alleys in many of the sections of the city.
 
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