I have to say, "THE alley" in downtown Kent looks better than it ever has in the couple of decades I've been around here. Yes, there are many alleys, but this one has a reputation for being particularly nasty, though nestled between long-time favorite eateries - Water Street Tavern/Cajun Dave's, Ray's Place and Taco Tonto's.
I began to think of it as "skid row" - and with all of the new development across the street, thought it deserved to look better than that.
No need to sugar coat - it is what it is, and I know that if no one speaks up and encourages improvements, they're not likely to happen. So it became a mission of mine at Main Street Kent to get this place cleaned up - and to help keep it that way!
Many discussions with business and building owners - Charlie Thomas, Mike Beder, and Kevin Yohn, helped to make the changes we see in the alley today. I remember saying many times, "It doesn't have to be pretty, but we can do better than this!"
So, racks now contain trash cans, and the alley is lined with lots of them now, rather than piles of bagged garbage that get pecked open by birds and other hungry passers-by. Power-washing is done and scheduled regularly for the year. Grease containers have been pared down to one rather than two, and we're in talks about some mural projects too...
Go take a peek and a sniff. It actually looks good - and not just for an alley. Thank you to all of the people who took action to make these improvements!
P.S. We're having a Clean Up Kent day on Sat., April 27th, from 9am-1pm. Meet up at the Hometown Bank Plaza if you'd like to help with some serious spring cleaning.