Forty two miles of residential alleyways in Upper Darby will be repaved over five years, announced Upper Darby Mayor Tom Micozzie at a June 5 Upper Darby Council meeting.
“The dilapidated condition of some of the residential alleyways in our neighborhoods is one of the top issues I hear about from residents who call my office or speak at town hall meetings,” said Micozzie.
Fourteen alleys will be earmarked for repaving this year. The hope is to repave 14 alleyways each of the five years at a cost of $200,000 per year, according to a Daily Times article.
The project is part of Mayor Micozzie’s Neighborhood Reinvestment Initiative (NRI) that also includes acquiring more open space for passive and recreational use.
Calling the Initiative an “investment in the future of Upper Darby,” the mayor said residential alleyway improvements will raise property values. Acquiring open space in a mature community like Upper Darby is a challenge and remains an ongoing priority on the township’s comprehensive plan, the mayor reported.
The township is looking at ground at the St. Eugene School property in Primos. Grant applications for $600,000 have been submitted for acquisition of open space, the Times reported.
The township will transfer $2.2 million from various departments to fund the alleyway resurfacing, 2019 street resurfacing and a traffic calming project on Owen Avenue between Garrett Road and Marshall Road, Chief Administrative Officer Thomas Judge Jr. told the Times.
The first alleyway projects will focus on the alleys that pose the largest public safety concerns. Some alleyways create challenges for police, fire and EMS personnel responding to emergencies, as well as trash trucks making regular trash pick-ups.
Standing water also forms from erosion, a breeding ground for disease-carrying mosquitoes.
“Relying solely on homeowners to maintain and pave the alleyways is not an ideal situation from a public safety or property value perspective,” said Micozzie. “We’re making a significant financial investment, but it’s one that is going to pay dividends for years to come.”
Homeowners will need to sign legal waivers giving the township permission to make the improvements.
Two ordinances will be considered by Council June 19 to allow funding for the alleyway and roadway resurfacing, open space acquisition and for other projects, the Times reported.