Welcome to my blog!

I used to blog here mostly using local photos about my neighborhood or Washington DC or other places I visited. But I took a break from the blog for a few months and then found myself posting about crafts and sewing projects I have done or are doing. These involve fabric recycling or re-use and refashioning of clothes, or other frugalities. I've left up the previous blogs and may occasionally revert to those topics again. May your days be blessed with miracles, surprises and creativity too!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Hidden Passageways in #BloomingdaleDC

When I first moved into Bloomingdale there were a lot more open passageways between the houses and alleys and streets that seemed to be public rights of way. Wide enough for a person to walk through but not any vehicles, you'd occasionally find one as you explored an alley or space between two houses in a row of townhouses.  Unfortunately, during the crack epidemic of the 90s they were allegedly used by drug dealers and buyers as a means of evading detection and disappearing quickly during a crackdown (no pun intended) so many of these passageways were blocked by gates by nearby owners. There is at least one passageway I know of that is still open but over time it seems more and more the gates have stayed locked for others.  I've been thinking about this for a while and I'm of two minds about whether these should be opened up; firstly there are still criminal elements in our neighborhood who might make use of passageways if they are opened up and who wants to give thugs even more opportunities to sprint away quickly. Secondly, I've been thinking, if they were opened up they would make nice walkways for people. But I'm not sure about the public rights of way piece and how any claim or effort to make this happen might work. On the other hand, I'm afraid of the dog poop problem expanding into new foot traffic areas were such passageways to open up.  Note: once a week I see a large poop on a sidewalk and people are still trying to get away with walking their dogs "unleashed", such scofflawing in my opinion, leads to unpicked up poop.  Then, of course, the bicycle nazis would probably want to claim these passageways for their use and their goes my peaceful meander when I'm forced to step aside for a whizzing bike.  Overall, however, I'm for opened up passageways so we have more walking routes to go on..



4 comments:

  1. I wonder, if these are actually public space, is it legal for them to be blocked off with gates? I understand the reasoning behind why they would have been closed initially, but I think we should look into opening them up. Where exactly did you take these pictures?

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  2. there's one locked in the space between two houses on the north side of unit block of W street. Another locked up off 2nd street....I really don't know the public right of way thing....or who the "land" belongs too...

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    1. Hmm...looking at the zoning maps, these appear to simply be private property - they're just examples of where the houses don't fill the entire width of the lot.

      Thanks for pointing them out.

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  3. Throughout history, hidden passageways have been used to help people hide and escape. Hidden passageways have also been a popular place for conducting and covering up crime.

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