By Garlynn Woodsong Chair, CNA Land Use & Transportation Committee (LUTC)
For the second year in a row, the Concordia neighborhood is partnering with Concordia University, Metro, and SOLVE to host an alley cleanup event from 10a.m. to 4p.m. on Sat., April 16.
We learned last year that it would be particularly helpful for neighbors who own trucks and live on an alley to show up and help to transport the debris collected in the alleys to the Metro Central Transfer Station. The costs are “comped” by the event sponsors, so we just need the volunteers with trucks to show up! Last year, we did not have enough trucks or drivers, and some volunteers had to continue making the dump runs with too few trucks on into Sunday. We would like to avoid asking that of our volunteers this year.
Neighbors, students performing a day of service, and others will gather between 9:45a.m.and 10a.m. at the intersection of the 28th/29th alley and Emerson street to receive supplies and instructions, then split off to clean up various alleys around the neighborhood.
The cleanup is the first step in a long-term process of building community momentum towards alley improvement efforts. Alleys are a public right-of-way, but, like sidewalks, their maintenance is the responsibility of adjacent private property owners. Historically, alleys were used to provide automobile access to homes. There is now a growing community consensus that these spaces can be enhanced to not only serve this original function better, but also be community spaces that provide many opportunities for residents that enhance the quality of life. The specifics of the vision for the future of each alley must be developed and owned by the neighbors on each block.
There are over 120 alley blocks in the Concordia neighborhood. Of these, alleys will be prioritized for cleanup on April 16th where adjacent neighbors have reached out in advance, and/or show up on the day of the event.
Please contact Garlynn if you would like to be involved in the cleanup, if you can offer the use of a truck for the day of the event, and to learn more about how your alley could be improved to become a better community resource.
Concordia residents interested in discussing this or any other issue related to land use and transportation are invited to attend the Concordia Neighborhood Association Land Use and Transportation Committee (CNA LUTC) meetings at 7p.m. on the third Wednesday of the month, in the Community Room in the SE corner of McMenamins Kennedy School. Click here to join the LUTC mailing list.