Like the posters that portray the pubs of Ireland or the doors of England, I was thinking of making a poster of the “Alleys of Lansdale”. The alleys in Lansdale have a bit of controversy surrounding them as they are not really owned or maintained by the Borough. They are communally owned and for the most part communally maintained. The reason for this is that when properties were originally surveyed a hundred or so years ago, some surveyors arbitraily entended property lines to the middle of the alley, some to the opposite side of the alley and some to just the end of the property line (perhaps, this was one way of increasing the size of one’s property). As the mayor, complaints regarding the condition of the alleys are probably in the top five. Usually, the call will be in early spring with the first thaw. “Is the Borough going to repair my oil pan after I bottom out in the alley?” is a common question. Diplomatically, I explain to the resident the information I just outlined above, but I also add that perhaps public works will deliver a bit of stone as a temporary fix (which helps smooth over the situation in more ways than one) but the onus is really on the tax payer. Some residents band together and pave their alleys and some don’t which results in wide range of alley conditions. I like the look of some of the less manicured alleys and almost consider them as our back country roads. Typically in the alleys, vegetation is not landscaped like in the front of the house which gives the alleys a wild look and invariably during windy days, papers, plastic bottles and other items of trash escape their recepticles which makes for a colorful, narrow lane– if I may call it that– which I have photographed for this blog.
Lansdale’s alleys aren’t dangerous like alleys in larger cities, although I wouldn’t want to take a pregnant woman down an alley in her third trimester or try to apply lipstick or eyeliner while driving down one of them (perhaps as an experiment I might try). Anyway, I was at a loss as to what to write for this blog, but since Lansdale’s alleys are part of the fabric of the Borough that many people talk about– or rather complain about– and the fact that almost every homeowner has one, I thought this might be of slight interest to the reader and he or she might now view them in a different light or possibly some day in the future in a poster.