WINDSOR, ONT. -- A community initiative to clean up alleyways in Windsor’s Via Italia neighbourhood brought people in from all over the city to help pave the way for new alley improvements.

Brandi Myles, with the Via Italia Business Improvement Association helped to coordinate the clean-up if alleys in the main street area.

“When I went down the alleys I didn’t think they were that bad and then I see this and I’m amazed by how much there is that we don’t actually notice, and how much potential there is when it’s all cleaned up,” Myles said.

About 50 volunteers came out to help, and not just from the local neighbourhood, residents from other areas of the city pitched in as well.

The alley clean-up pre-empts an initiative to install new lighting in the alleyways meant to improve safety.

Six new alley lights are expected to be installed later this year, while a further 41 are to be added as well.

Myles is excited by the initiative backed by the Windsor police and City Hall, and believes it can help rejuvenate the neighbourhood.

“This is the kick-off for it so we can get ready to have them installed and we just want to make it a safer environment,” Myles said. “It’s already safe, but just that extra help is going to be something really great for the residents and the merchants. We just want everybody to come here and feel that they’re in a safe environment.”