The State of Our Alleys


They’re all around us. Lurking. They are some of the worst offenders in the on-going war on potholes. They are back alleys, and they are a big problem.

When I was campaigning for City Council, I remember meeting a man in Malmo who wanted to show me his back alley. He brought a stick. When we got to the alley, he dipped the stick into a large hole in the middle of the alley. The hole was over a foot deep - you could have fit a tire in it.


Today, Transportation Committee passed a motion, built on an inquiry raised by Councillor Knack, to examine the lay of the land in Edmonton’s back alleys, which would help us to put together a program to undertake back alley renewal in neighbourhoods around the City. The motion is as follows:

That Administration provide a report outlining recommended options for alley rehabilitation & renewal, including the following considerations:

a)    Sustainability

b)    Prioritization

c)    Funding

d)    Equity​
to return by November 2015.

Clearly, simply patching up problems where they pop up isn’t enough; we need a big picture strategy to target problematic alleys and make them better for drivers and pedestrians alike. This will become even more critical as mature neighbourhoods in the City take on more infill development. We need to ensure that our alleys can handle any gradual increases in traffic that denser neighbourhoods might bring.

I look forward to the development of a back alley program and funding strategy in the coming year. In the meantime, keep up the good work of reporting potholes in back alleys and streets to the City by calling 311 or using the 311 app. If you are having trouble getting results, never hesitate to contact my office. To us, it’s the surest sign of spring when we start helping constituents with pothole concerns.