Arizona

Photo Essay: Greenway Envy

In my previous post, I offered a tour of Tucson’s new Fifth Avenue Greenway. This post is about a nearby neighborhood that’s suffering from a severe case of greenway envy.

Let’s set the stage by talking about the weather – again.

As noted in recent posts, Tucson is experiencing its summer monsoon season. Which means torrential rains like this one that’s flooding East Seneca Street between Fourth and Second Avenues…

Nature photography - Monsoon storm creates street flooding in Tucson, Arizona

Like most summer storms, this one didn’t last very long. But it left quite a bit of runoff on Seneca…

Nature photography - Storm runoff on East Seneca Street, Tucson, Arizona

As if the Seneca Street flood waters aren’t enough, Third Avenue also carries quite a bit of runoff. South of Seneca, Third Avenue becomes an alley for a couple of blocks. And it’s not a very inviting place…

Nature photography - Third Avenue alley south of East Seneca Street, Tucson, Arizona

Nature photography - Third Avenue alley south of East Seneca Street, Tucson, Arizona

The storm water runoff that flows into the alley isn’t fit to drink or swim in. But it does serve a valuable purpose – it irrigates plants. Here it’s irrigating Bermada Grass, an invasive species…

Nature photography - Storm runoff irrigates Bermuda Grass in Third Avenue alley, Tucson, Arizona

Unkempt areas in the common space tend to attract negative behaviors. They attract litter and become dumping grounds for stolen property like this City of Tucson warning sign…

Nature photography - Stolen traffic sign in Third Avenue alley south of East Seneca Street, Tucson, Arizona

They also become magnets for criminal activity…

Nature photography - Graffiti on wall between East Seneca and Waverly Streets, Tucson, Arizona

The Fifth Avenue Greenway starts in an alley south of Mansfield Park. There was a time when respectable people avoided this alley because it was such a hotbed of drug dealing, gang activity, and other nefarious goings-on.

Other than one instance of gang graffiti that’s already been reported to the city, I didn’t notice anything negative during my recent walk through the Fifth Avenue Greenway.

That’s why other neighborhoods what their own greenways. Attractive common space encourages positive behavior. And when positive behavior increases, crime decreases.

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