Phoenix Gated Alley Program Too Pricey For Some Neighborhoods

By Christina Estes
Published: Monday, October 21, 2019 - 5:10am
Updated: Monday, October 28, 2019 - 9:43am

alley closed off by  gate
Christina Estes/KJZZ
Phoenix launched a gated alley pilot program in Royal Palm neighborhood in December 2018.

It’s been nearly a year since Phoenix launched a pilot program to allow neighborhoods to gate their alleys. The program is meant to prevent criminal activity and illegal dumping.

The pilot program launched with six gated alleys in the Royal Palm Neighborhood between Seventh and 19th avenues from Northern to Dunlap avenues. It was also supposed to launch in Sunnyslope between Central Avenue and 12th Street from Butler Drive to Dunlap Avenue, but money’s been a roadblock. During a recent subcommittee meeting, Sandra Hoffman with the planning department explained neighbors must cover costs to install gates.

“They have to pay for a licensed contractor to design it,” she said. “They would then pay for the actual gates themselves and so that can cost range anywhere from $3,000 to 5,000 for two gates.”

Since residents across the city have expressed interest in gated alleys, staff will look into potential funding sources for neighborhood groups as a way to help offset costs. During a subcommittee meeting last week, Hoffman also said surveys will be sent to Royal Palm residents.

Gated alley in royal palm neighborhood in phoenix
Christina Estes/KJZZ
Royal Palm becomes the first neighborhood in Phoenix to install gates on alleys to deter criminal activity and illegal dumping on Dec. 8, 2018.

“We will also consider during the follow up what has happened for the alleys that are gated as well as the surrounding alleys because we want to see if there’s any kind of things that might migrate over because now these are closed but now are they creating more problems in the surrounding neighborhood,” she said.

The Royal Palm neighborhood has installed six gates. The program requires neighborhoods apply and submit a petition with the approval of at least 51% of the property owners. Trash collection is moved from the alley to curbside, and the city coordinates with utility companies to ensure they have alley access. Keys are distributed to residents who must continue to maintain the alleys.