Nancy Dawkins was pleased to be standing on a newly paved alley, steps away from a new light pole, commending the workers who gave six miles of alleys in Liberty City, Buena Vista and Wynwood a much-needed makeover.
The 94-year-old has been active in the community for decades, so when she spoke to the crowd that had gathered near Charles Hadley Park to commemorate the job, she had instructions for her neighbors who now have tidy paths behind their homes.
“If you see something, clean,” she said. “You’ll keep it clean.”
On Friday, Miami officials cut the ribbon on a $2.7 million project to clean up 52 alleys behind homes across Liberty City, creating paved pathways with nighttime lighting so residents can comfortably walk and bike around the neighborhood. Speed bumps have been installed to slow vehicle traffic that might turn into the alleys.
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The project, sponsored by Commission Chairman Keon Hardemon, sought to rethink the way homeowners use their backyards and interact with their alleys. Now residents might be more inclined to enjoy their backyards, and kids can comfortably ride their bikes around the neighborhood.
“I think it makes a difference in how you enjoy your property,” said Hardemon, who pushed for the project in his district.
Once poorly-lit dumping grounds that were more of a haven for illegal activity, the redone pathways have had their overgrowth removed and new lights erected, with striping on the pavement for bicyclists.
The 52 alleys run east-west, providing off-street paths to walk or bike through neighborhoods to nearby parks.
The alleys that were upgraded are:
▪ 10 alleys in Liberty City bounded by Northwest 12th Avenue to the east, 14th Avenue to the west, 54th Street to the north and 50th Street to the south.
▪ 25 alleys in Liberty City bounded by Interstate 95 to the east, Northwest 12th Avenue to the west, 50th Street to the north and 46th Street to the south.
▪ Nine alleys in Buena Vista bounded by North Miami Avenue to the east, Northwest Sixth Avenue to the west, 41st Street to the north and 39th Street to the south.
▪ Eight alleys in Wynwood bounded by North Miami Avenue to the east, Northwest Third Avenue to the west, 35th Street to the north and 33rd Street to the south