Detroit to clear debris from 2,000 neighborhood alleys


Detroit – The city plans to clear 2,000 overgrown alleys in neighborhoods across Detroit this year.

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan on Monday announced plans to expand Detroit’s Alley Cleanup program. Efforts, which began in August, have removed brushes and debris from 505 alleys, some of which had not received any attention in decades.

“This is an advance in the quality of life in the city,” Duggan said during a press conference Monday.

The maintenance of alleys has been the responsibility of neighboring owners for decades since the city cleared them. Duggan noted Monday that 30% of the land in Detroit is now empty and has a role to play in the cleanup. “The city felt that we had to do something.”

The city’s general services department is clearing the lanes in response to petitions from registered block clubs and community organizations. In return, the city calls on the neighborhood groups to undertake to vacate the sites themselves at least twice a year.

The city has allocated $ 12 million to the four-year alley rehabilitation program. Officials intend to aim for 2,000 to 2,500 lanes a year. Duggan said city garrisons have so far cleared 5 million square feet of streets and picked up 4,000 tons of debris.

The mayor said about 1,500 block clubs signed up and admitted to the program this year, with 500 spots left.

Block clubs or neighborhood associations registered with the Department of Neighborhoods can complete the alley cleanup application form on the city’s website at

Obie King of the city’s Monica Street Block Club said he had long urged neighbors to help clean up and secure the alley in his community near Monica and Fullerton. The area has since been cleared under the program.

“When people see a clean area … they really see that someone cares about that alley, so they wouldn’t reach for something and throw it away if they saw something going on in those alleyways,” he said.

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