Sep 7, 2022 - News

Phoenix expected to spend $500,000 on gated alleyways

A gate in front of an alley.
One of the gated alleyways from Phoenix's pilot program. Photo: City of Phoenix

The Phoenix City Council is expected to vote Wednesday to spend $500,000 to expand its gated alleyways program, which some neighborhoods believe will deter crime and trespassing.

  • The council will vote to make the program a permanent city function and provide funding to gate approximately 45 additional alley segments.

Why it matters: Only about 22% of Phoenix residents have alleyways, but the city has received a surge in complaints about crime and illegal dumping in the alleys in recent years.

State of play: The city began piloting a gate program in 2017 in Royal Palm and Sunnyslope. It's since provided grants to neighborhoods in other parts of the city as well.

How it works: 50% plus one property owners along an alley segment must sign a petition in favor of gating to be considered for the program.

  • The city must be able to provide trash service on the street instead of in the alley.
  • The property owners must be in a neighborhood association or must form one.

Neighborhoods can also pay for their own gates, with city approval.

  • According to a council report, "gating an alley section" costs about $11,000. Neighborhoods would take over responsibility for cleaning and maintaining the alley.

What they're saying: City resident Luke Bevans told ABC15 in 2018 that he saw homeless encampments, needles and graffiti in his alley near 15th Avenue and Dunlap. A man also climbed from the alley into a backyard and exposed himself to two young girls.

  • The neighborhood installed gates around the alley and, two years later, he said all of the criminal activity and litter had disappeared.

Editor's note: The headline on this story was corrected to reflect that Phoenix is expected to spend $500,000 (not $500 million).

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