it's not easy being green (part II)

Yesterday I gave you the history and overview of "Alley Gating and Greening." Today you get to hear about "All-out Hating and Screaming." JUST KIDDING! But that was good parallel phonetics, no? Seriously, though, the Alley Gating and Greening (AGG from henceforth) process is a challenging one. Yesterday, I mentioned the double-headed monster of inertia and trepidation.

Let's talk definitions and examples:

(noun) - Resistance or disinclination to motion, action, or change
With a higher percentage of homeowners on our alley than many others, one would think we'd have a much easier time with AGG. One would be wrong. You see, while absentee owners and landlords may be hard to track down, once you do they often don't really care what you're doing in the alley as long as they don't have to spend a lot of money. Resident old-timers, on the other hand, can be a true force with which to be reckoned, the prevailing attitude often being if they have made it this long without whatever it is you want to do, it must be a bad idea and not worth considering.
Example conversation:

"Gating our Alley will promote safety and security for all of us!"

"I don't see why you
new people can't just do what I do - double bolt the doors, put up security camera, and stay inside." *scowl*

Trepidation (noun) - A state of alarm or dread; apprehension
Those who do not outright shun the idea of change in and of itself can instead be quick to come up with fearful lists of "what-ifs" and "might happens." I'm not talking questions that are requests for solutions, ideas and answers. I'm talking hypotheticals to which the only acceptable answer (to the asker) is: "You are right. This is the worst idea ever. The sky will actually fall down."
Example conversation:

"Police and emergency personnel will be able to access the alley with a
knox box"
"But what if they can't? What if the extra two seconds it adds means my entire house burns to the ground?"

"Well, they use them all over the city - so far it's really not been a problem..."
"But what if it IS? What if they CAN'T! Think of what might happen!"

But I kind of understand it. I mean, it is true that there hasn't been a lot of research. It is important to consider the risks along with the benefits. It is natural to be afraid of change. But what we have now isn't working. As the 18th-century author Samual Johnson wrote in Rasselas (a novella about happiness), "Nothing will ever be attempted, if all possible objections must be first overcome."

Future posts will address specific issues, but here is my over-view statement of why I am pro-AGG:

Theoretically, no, I don't like the idea of resorting to gating our alley to protect ourselves and our homes. That's in THEORY. The REALITY is that it makes me sad to know that neighbors up and down the three blocks of our alley have guns to protect themselves from the intruders they feel are bound to come sooner or later. I am disgusted by the used condoms I've cleaned up, and the violent fights of non-residents I've heard in the alley, and the clumps of hair I've found the next day. It worries me to hear mothers torn over whether or not they can realistically raise kids in our neighborhood when they can't even let them out back to play unsupervised. I want to live in a clean, safe, sanitary environment, where people want to live, and professionals want to buy, and families want to stay

And you know, if there comes a time when that final sentence is true and the rest of that paragraph is false, I'll be the first to take down the gates.

love k


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