From the editor: When grandson Jack was still a first grade student at Skinner Elementary, Nena and I would sometimes walk the few blocks from our son's home in West Brownsville to escort him home from Skinner. It was not the simplest of walks, as many of the blocks in West Brownsville have sidewalks in front of one or two homes, then nothing. You walk through someone's yard or walk in the street.
When we mentioned this problem to our son, Diego Lee Rot, he explained: "No one around here walks on the sidewalks. Everyone uses the alleys."
The next time we walked Jack back home from school, we noticed parents walking with their kids in the well-maintained, paved alleys. It made sense.
Belden Trail is used similarly, with young mothers and their kids walking to another part of the neighborhood. Very few bicycles are ever seen on the trail.
West Brownsville's alleys are not only primary pathways, but contain secondary housing for relatives, renters, etc. Almost every home has a little home or apartment built in its back yard along the alley.