Phoenix considers closing access to alleys in Royal Palms neighborhood

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Phoenix officials have a pilot program to close alleys from access. (26 June 2017) [Source: City of Phoenix] Phoenix officials have a pilot program to close alleys from access. (26 June 2017) [Source: City of Phoenix]

A criminal's easy access to backyards via the nearby alley may be a thing of the past if a new pilot program by the City of Phoenix takes hold.

"What we experienced was extremely traumatizing," said Kyndle Cottrell, the mother of two girls, both victims of a terrible deed.

Last October, a man hopped into a backyard and exposed himself to the two little girls in the Royal Palms neighborhood near 11th and Dunlap avenues.

[ORIGINAL STORY: Police search for man who exposed himself to 2 kids in Phoenix backyard]

"They are doing incredible; the community support has been amazing," said Cottrell.

Time has healed the girls' wounds but hasn't helped neighbors feel any safer.

[RELATED: Neighbors fight to close alley after man exposed himself to kids in backyard]

"We've seen a lot of transient traffic back there by foot, by bike or by vehicle," said resident Luke Bevans.

For the past year, these neighbors have been working to get the officials with the city to close the access to the alleys.

"It really is such a great stepping stone for anyone that is trying to commit any crimes," said Cottrell.

Officials with the city came up with a pilot program to close 878 linear miles of alleys with 6-foot-tall metal fences, near 15th and Dunlap.

There have been concerns from some residents about trash pick-up, access to RV gates and general maintenance of the alley.

"If they value their neighbors' safety more than different smaller conveniences," said Cottrell.

"We're not wanting to abandon the alley for any other reason than safety," said Bevans.

The Phoenix Public Works Department will pay $400 for permits. The neighborhood association that submits the request will be responsible for coordinating and paying for the installation and maintenance of the gates.

Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

Ashlee DeMartinoAshlee DeMartino is excited to finally be back in her hometown of Phoenix.

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Ashlee DeMartino
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An award-winning journalist, Ashlee has worn many hats in her career, one-woman-band, executive producer, anchor, reporter and morning traffic reporter. However, her main focus and passion is weather.

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