September 17, 2021
Work began this week on the first alleyway in the City that will be rejuvenated through the City’s Alleyway Pilot Program. Construction on the 850-foot alley in the Liberty Wells neighborhood will increase functionality for the adjoining residents as well as the communities the alley connects.
“Our alleyways are a tremendous and underutilized City asset that I’ve long wanted to help neighbors positively activate,” said Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall. “With about 50 miles of public alleyways throughout the City, we’re taking the opportunity to not only improve but reimagine some of these valuable public spaces.”
City teams have cleared vegetation and are rejuvenating pavement at the Liberty Wells project, which is located between Browning and Kensington avenues, west of 300 east.
“What’s so exciting to me is the neighborhood involvement in this alleyway project. They saw what it could do and jumped in to help get it going. It’s a great example to others how they can better their block and the surrounding streets,” said District 5 City Council Member Darin Mano.
Community involvement will be key to the success of the pilot project, with residents committing to help maintain the improvements once established. The Liberty Wells Community Council and neighbors who abutt the alleyway will install and maintain art, and tend to flowerbeds.
“Alleyways have historically been important spaces for commerce, pedestrian and bike travel, deliveries, garage access and more. Our team has been pleased to work with the neighbors in this community who eagerly welcome this project,” said David Jones, Public Way Coordination Program Manager for the Engineering Division.
The City’s Engineering Division is working with the Administration and other Divisionsto determine possible locations for other alleyways to be improved as part of the pilot. Work will likely begin on those in the spring.
“The Alleyway Pilot Program is a terrific way for many to collaborate in shaping our community — people living adjacent to the alley, the Community Council, and the City. Going forward, we see the activation of our alleys as a way to celebrate Liberty Wells’ unique character while preserving public space, bringing neighbors together, and enriching the sometimes less appreciated niches of our community,” said Caitlin Lutsch, Liberty Wells Community Council Chair.
The Alleyway Pilot Program also presents opportunities to implement sustainable practices. The first alleyway will be resurfaced using recycled asphalt from the ongoing 100 South reconstruction project.
The $200,000 Alleyway Pilot Program was funded by the 2018 voter-approved Funding Our Future bond.