(CBS DETROIT) – Alleys were created to be a path to backyards and garages but thousands of them are no longer walkable and blocked with junk and debris but now the city is stepping in to clear-out and clean-up.

It’s an image that’s seen all over Detroit.

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An alley that looks more like a dump.

“Cleanliness is next to godliness and the alleys in Detroit have been a challenge for many, many years but we know once you can clean them out you can create a space that’s safe and beautiful where positive things can happen,” said John George, Detroit Blight Busters.

The city of Detroit is partnering with neighborhood block clubs to restore two-thousand over-grown alleys in 2021.

City workers will come out to get rid of the brush and debris and neighbors make the commitment to maintain it.

“We fully support the mayor, this project and this program,” said George.

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George has been beautifying neighborhoods for over thirty years and transformed this alley near Grand River and Lahser with artist Chazz Miller into something special.

“We’ve been able to transform a dead zone if you will into a place that’s beautiful and lively,” said George.

The artist alley is just one example on how a dull space can be repurposed.

“I think right now we got a great opportunity with these alleys for bike paths, and picnic areas, and trails and gathering spaces and especially now with what we’re going through, needing outdoor spaces,” said Miller.

Block clubs and neighborhood associations can make requests for alley clean-ups.

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If you don’t belong to a group, you’re encouraged to organize one and register with the city here.

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