New Program to Give Attention for Unimproved Dallas Alleys

Trail conversion is an option for unimproved alleys

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A Dallas alley clean-up and trail conversion program offer to put paved pathways through unimproved alleys.

An example of trail conversion is in the Cochran Heights neighborhood where a paved sidewalk now runs through a once overgrown alley to Cochran Park.

“It’s really nice. It looks really inviting. I feel like it if was an overgrown path I would not want to go to the park at all,” said resident Rebecca Edwards.

Dallas has 1,365 unimproved alleys that are not used for trash collection. Many are overgrown. 

The current city budget includes $4.8 million in federal COVID-19 relief money for unimproved alley clean-up.  A briefing to be presented to the Dallas City Council Transportation Committee Tuesday said 581 of the alleys had been cleaned as of January 31, 2022.  Clean-up is to be completed by September 30, 2022.

The briefing lists 33 alley segments that could be candidates for the type of trail conversion that was completed in Cochran Heights two years ago.

Residents including Matt Troia contributed to that pathway with money, time and materials.

“I think it’s great when a local neighborhood chips in and helps fund parts of it,” Troia said. “It was pretty empty before and pretty rundown. Not a very nice place to walk by.”

In the new locations, residents would be asked to commit to maintaining the new pathways, but the city has $4 million of the COVID-19 relief money in the budget to help pay for trail conversions.

“I think it would be a great investment,” Edwards said. “I feel like paths like this make Dallas a more welcoming and fun place rather than just being run down. You see a lot of that around here. So, I really like the idea a lot.”

Residents at one of the new locations who declined to give their names said they do not like the idea of a new path behind their homes that might invite more people who don’t belong there.

The alley trail conversion locations would require 2/3rds approval from neighbors.

The locations have no rear garage entry into homes and must meet other criteria.

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