Phoenix plans to expand Gated Alley Program to help curb crime, illegal dumping

The city has been adding gates for years to deal with problems including crime and illegal dumping.
Published: Nov. 16, 2023 at 1:42 PM MST|Updated: Nov. 16, 2023 at 4:04 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - There are many Phoenix neighborhoods with homes that back up to alleys, which serve as access points for utility and solid waste companies. Unfortunately, some alleys have experienced problems with crime and illegal dumping. And for years, the city has been adding gates to improve safety and security in those areas.

With more than 22% of Phoenix households (80,000 residents) that back up to alleyways, the city is looking to expand its Gated Alley Program. The program allows homeowners to apply for gates through the neighborhood services department and is approved if more than 50% of homeowners on either side agree to relocate trash services.

“The program was a pilot program we started in 2017. A resident from a neighborhood came into City Hall and spoke before the City Council asking for assistance with an issue they had in their alley with somebody jumping the fence and exposing himself to his family,” said Program Manager Greg Gonzalez.

It began with just 78 gates, and now six years later, it’s a permanent program. “There’s over 200 alley segments that have been gated across the city,” Gonzalez said.

The Phoenix City Council approved the use of $750,000 in Block Watch funds, in addition to the $852,000 program budget from the city’s General Fund. Together, a spokesperson for Neighborhood Services says it will allow the department to gate up to 145 alley segments.

Gates can also be privately funded, but there are requirements that there is a three-lock system. One lock is for the Phoenix Fire Dept., another for utilities and police, and the third for those living in the neighborhood. “We make sure the alley is secured along both sides with fencing and there is no gaps in there where people can now come in and have a safe haven and hide out,” Gonzalez said.

For the hundreds of households that are already part of the program, Gonzalez said it’s given a sense of security that wasn’t there before. “Based on responses we’ve received from residents, they feel safer being at home; they feel safer sitting in their living room alone,” he said.

Gates are installed between 7 to 10 months after the applicant is accepted. Find more information about the Gated Alley Program here, with details on eligibility and how to submit a request.

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