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Can our alley be sustainable?

We had a lot of rain this weekend, a series of downpours beginning Friday afternoon and continuing off and on late into Saturday night. Our weather wasn't as severe as in northern Iowa, where there were reports of tornadoes, nor was the aftermath as notable as the standing water I noticed all over the Chicago area where I traveled last weekend.

Nonetheless, on my block we experienced a rather common occurrence after strong rains: loose gravel had washed down our alley and been deposited into Blake Boulevard.

I think the alley must be about 80 years old. That's the age of most of the houses on the block. It's paved, but hasn't been repaired in a long time, and shows quite a bit of wear.

The pothole-riddled surface requires careful walking, and is particularly tricky for bicycles (and, I would imagine, strollers). The sandbar at the intersection with the street is an obstacle for cycling, although eventually a city truck will scoop it clear.

I don't know if it's…

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