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I am very interested in your project and would dedicate some time.
I am all for this. I do live on or in an alley, Victory Lane. I have only been here since July 1, 2005 and love it and plan to be here for many years to come.   More…
Posted - 09/11/05 9:42am by Lynn R Slater
Legal limbo blocks improvements
What happened was the City required us to provide onsite parking(they didn't mention any restictions on entry from the Iron Horse Lane) for the four apartment units we proposed, plus they wanted a service access for the street level commercial space, if I remember correctly. For sure, it was at least four spaces, and that pretty much eliminated our chances of building the outdoor dining and reception venue that was the centerpiece of the project.   More…
Posted - 09/11/05 9:40am by Lynn R Slater
Be wary of a categorization of "Historic Resourc
I think that we need to be wary of a categorization of "Historic Resource". While this might be appropriate in gaining the protection of the alleys that the Niles community is looking for, we might ultimately cut our own throats. In my experience with State Parks, a "Historic" classification of any kind implies restricted use, restricted access, strictly defined parameters on upkeep and defined regulations on planting trees or any other flora/ fauna and required cultural and natural diversity surveys. I am not saying that this would be the case as a "Historic Resource." I just think we might benefit from looking into that particular classification. My first thought would be to make sure that the alleys will still be vehicular accessible with a "Historic Resource" listing.   More…
Posted - 09/11/05 9:34am by Lynn R Slater
City policies… what policies?
City policies… what policies? Nothing has ever been publicly debated or voted on by the City Council. It took 40 (or so) years for the City to claim that they have no responsibilities for the alleys, and this came after they intended to pave them in 1984. There are complete engineering drawings on this project (PWC-391 – Niles Alleys). The last time alley discussions made it to the City Council, if I remember correctly, was 1997. There was no public debate because the City Council had a “closed door” meeting with their attorney. What was the secrecy for? What are they hiding? How did our community let this happen without debate or a vote? Isn’t this type of action considered unconstitutional?   More…
Posted - 09/11/05 9:34am by Lynn R Slater
Legal limbo blocks improvements
Right Paul, I oversimplified the case, a no-brainer is out of the question in any ongoing relationship between citizen groups and a governing beaurocracy. The "Institutional Memory" is only  binding and contained in official status and legal standings such as you propose establishing. What I meant to convey was just how far along independent action can get you in the meantime, such as the progress you all made in 1997 in the both the physical and attitude realms.   More…
Posted - 09/11/05 9:32am by Lynn R Slater
Hardest part is the maintenance
Being one who has tried to maintain her "part" of the alley (Victory Lane at J), I have to say that the hardest part is the maintenance... and the watering of plants. Remember that BFI uses the alley's - perhaps they could somehow contribute to their maintenance. Their truck drove over the ages-old rosemary bush that sat at this corner, and I probably have made it worse by trying to take out all the dead wood (although it was kind of pretty when the nasturtiams were growing on what is left...). Years ago, Matt Edwards laid a soaker hose back there, and that has helped in the watering area, as long as I can remember to hook a hose up to it at least biweekly. But, since I did this myself, I take ownership for it, and I get pleasure from seeing it at least somewhat planted. While I applaud the effort suggested, there will have to be some ownership for maintenance.   More…
Posted - 09/11/05 9:30am by Lynn R Slater
Legal limbo blocks improvements
The City is the obstacle. Our plight, as eloquently articulated to me one day by an experienced local, was…”Imagine that we (Nilians) are the historic town of Mendocino but we are governed by Orange County.” The City of Fremont does not even have zoning regulations for 50’ wide lots with alley access. They consider our properties substandard to Fremont’s manifest destiny of suburban sprawl, which is now complete.   More…
Posted - 09/11/05 9:28am by Lynn R Slater
Bricks were once offered
You know, as in anything, a lot of the uncertainty could be resolved by simply initiating  positive changes. Owners, or empowered renters,  with property abuting the easements are the natural torch bearers in this.   More…
Posted - 09/11/05 9:25am by Lynn R Slater
I am very interested in your project and would dedicate some time.
Great idea! I would like to be involved in this historical project promoting Niles Alley Ways. I can already foresee a new Niles event: "Traveling Down the Past, Niles Alley Ways"   More…
Posted - 09/11/05 9:24am by Lynn R Slater
Legal limbo blocks improvements See all 5 replies
Some years ago I had a wonderful Alley Cottage designed for a local resident which used the Alley for required parking access - as is has been used for the past 100 years.   More…
Posted - 09/11/05 9:23am by Lynn R Slater, updated or replied 09/11/05 9:40am
I am very interested in your project and would dedicate some time. See all 2 replies
I am very interested in your project and would dedicate some time. I was also interested in developing a history of the alleys in terms of interactions with the City so that I can be as informed as possible when I approach them to do some work. Could we plan a meeting ASAP? My house is under construction and would not be an appropriate place. Should I email the people who have responded already and see if they want to meet at the Nile this weekend?   More…
Posted - 09/11/05 9:20am by Lynn R Slater, updated or replied 09/11/05 9:42am
Bricks, not asphalt
Yes Paul, those are the key words, celebrate and promote. Ashland, Oregon and Port Townsend, Washington both have alleys that live, and add charm and ambiance not available on Main Street to those cities. The key is to empower the property owners to be able to beautify and make money off the things.   More…
Posted - 09/11/05 9:19am by Lynn R Slater
Promise implies city ownership
The City has gone through a number of staff changes over the 50ish years since its incorporation, and I'm sure a number of records have been purged along the way. If anyone still had a copy of one of those old letters regarding the City's intent to pave the alleys at their ownexpense, I wonder if it would imply City ownership. That would be interesting to find out.   More…
Posted - 09/11/05 9:16am by Lynn R Slater
Paving was promised 25 years ago See reply
Many many years ago, probably 20-25 years ago, during one of the many revelopment districts that Niles has belonged to, the alley's were supposed to be paved. As property owners next to the alley by the fire department we actually had a letter from the city stating that. But instead they put curbs on 2nd and 3rd St and then totally ignored the streets like H, I and J etc who never got curbs or drainage either. No on at the city ever remembers things like this, because "it must happened before I came" and therefore is invalid.   More…
Posted - 09/11/05 9:16am by Lynn R Slater, updated or replied 09/11/05 9:16am
Paving -- a compromise?
I have recently visited Palo Alto and it appears that they have paved alleys and they look fantastic!   More…
Posted - 09/11/05 9:12am by Lynn R Slater
Asked for help 10-12 years ago
About 10-12 years ago a bunch of us in Niles asked the City to help maintain the alleys. There had been problems with emergency services because those who lived on the alleys had addresses of the main streets. So to solve that problem the City named the alleys but insisted that they were private property. Note the "Private" on the signs...   More…
Posted - 09/11/05 9:10am by Lynn R Slater
On the alley issue, I have a different opinion. We've lived here for 14 years, and our alley connects with the preschool at the Congregational Church. It is already difficult to reinforce to people dropping their kids off that the alley isn't a speedway, and we have always been of the impression that if the alleys were paved, there would be rampant speeding. My sister's house (not in Niles) was once robbed. The access was the alley. The police told her that there are a huge number of houses on alleyways that are robbed (for obvious reasons). Pavement scares me because of the possibility of a quick getaway. (My sister's alley was beautifully paved, by the way.) True, there are some monstrous potholes, but at our house we consider them nature's speedbumps. Also, since according to the city, they are not public property, would the police do anything about wreckless driving in the alleys?   More…
Posted - 09/11/05 9:08am by Lynn R Slater
Paving See all 4 replies
I just purchased a home, and have rented for three years, on Iron Horse Lane. I was asking a friend who had lived on the same street for many years the same question you have posed here. He said that the city has always treated it as the responsibility of the homeowners on the alleyways. But, I think it is time that the city realize that it is in their best interest to pave. I have commented before that, in a one year time period on my block, two cars were hit (including my own), my gate was hit, the library was hit, and another building was hit. People tend to drive too fast because they like the gravel or are trying to avoid main streets. They often hit rather large dips and probably lose control. I have named one seasonal puddle "Lake Iron Horse." The condition gets worse each year. Just adding gravel has caused the roads to be too high, allowing water run-off to flow into properties.   More…
Posted - 09/11/05 9:06am by Lynn R Slater, updated or replied 09/11/05 9:25am
What is the deal is with the alleys?
You have raised an interesting point , which to my knowledge has not been identified in the long and disparate discussions on the Niles Alleys.  Other than access to Fire Station Number 2 on 2nd Street, is there any intent by the Fremont Fire Department to utilize the Alleys for emergency vehicle access?  The Alleys are the sole means of access for several properties in Niles.    More…
Posted - 09/11/05 9:02am by Lynn R Slater
What is the deal is with the alleys? See reply
It looks like the town is on the cusp of really turning into something even better but I wanted to know what the deal is with the alleys? Why are they not paved or maintained to a higher level? Can the fire dept easily access homes along the alley in an emergency?   More…
Posted - 09/11/05 9:00am by Lynn R Slater, updated or replied 09/11/05 9:02am
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