Richmond residents paving way to a better alley


Residents are literally paving their way to a better community with ongoing, community-driven improvements on an alley near 23rd Street, according to community advocate Cesar Zepeda.

About two weeks ago, the crime-ridden alley between 22nd and 23rd streets and Grant and Burbeck avenues was paved by the city.

It’s just one part of a partnership involving local residents, Darlene Rios Drapkin of Urban Transformation and Calle 23 to revitalize the alley and surrounding area, including on the 23rd street corridor.

Just a few months ago, the alley was dilapidated and lined by trash, which a sizable crew of residents cleaned up. 

Before and after images of the post-paved alleyway, which also features new lighting.

Along the way, the city agreed to pave the alley, a job completed about two weeks ago, said Zepeda, who worked on the project along with Drapkin and local advocates Oscar Garcia and Jesus Monroy.

In addition, new lights were installed, donated by Richmond’s own Laner Electric, to prevent unwanted activities such as prostitution, drugs and illegal dumping, Zepeda said.

“Next up are trees, new fencing, and murals,” he said.

And at an upcoming City Council meeting, a plan to reimagine the streets in the surrounding area is set to be discussed.

“The pavement will allow us to continue to move forward to beautifying the Xochitl area,” Zepeda said, adding, “Now the residents that live in that alley can walk home safely.”

The project is being called Xochitl, which means flower in Aztec.