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Old 11-21-2009, 02:44 PM
 
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We have them in St. Paul. My block, curiously, had its alley vacated in the 1930s, according to my deed. They ceded 4 feet of it to my property and the others on my block, and 4 feet to the property behind mine and the others on that block. Not sure why it was done, I've found remnants of the pavement along my fence line, and you can still see the curb cut at one end of where it used to join the street. Though my yard is 4' deeper due to the vacation, I would rather have the alley back. My previous house had an alley, so my "driveway" was about 4 feet long, that was all the snow I had to shovel. The alley was plowed by a truck. At my current house, I have a lengthy, steep driveway that I have to clear snow out of. I'd rather it was planted in grass.

RE: density and size, I've seen alleys everywhere from little Zephyrhills, FL to Chicago, to San Diego, to ghost towns in Montana and Colorado. Just look at Googlemaps and check out cities and towns at the Street View. Some you can even explore their full length! In my hometown in the Northeast, some neighborhoods had them, others didn't. The 1920's house I grew up in didn't. But what I found intriguing was that many of the alleys in my city were actually named. I suppose back in the 19th century there may have been houses that needed addresses back in them, or maybe it was an ego thing for the person who developed the neighborhood.
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Old 11-21-2009, 03:16 PM
 
Location: Beaverland, OR
588 posts, read 2,558,511 times
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So based on the replies so far, it seems housing density has little or nothing to do with the presence of alleys.

Where I am from (very low-density west Texas), all of the residential areas have alleys. But almost all of the houses still have driveways in the front - no garage access from the alleys. The alleys are used only for dumpsters and utility easements.

One arguable advantage I see of alleys is it makes trash collection much less prominent. I hate having to haul my trash and recycling to the curb every week on "trash day". With a big dumpster in an alley, you just throw it away and forget it. And all the little trash containers sitting in front of houses on trash day temporarily "uglify" the neighborhood.
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Old 11-21-2009, 03:42 PM
 
Location: Underneath the Pecan Tree
15,989 posts, read 30,664,378 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by juggler View Post
So based on the replies so far, it seems housing density has little or nothing to do with the presence of alleys.

Where I am from (very low-density west Texas), all of the residential areas have alleys. But almost all of the houses still have driveways in the front - no garage access from the alleys. The alleys are used only for dumpsters and utility easements.

One arguable advantage I see of alleys is it makes trash collection much less prominent. I hate having to haul my trash and recycling to the curb every week on "trash day". With a big dumpster in an alley, you just throw it away and forget it. And all the little trash containers sitting in front of houses on trash day temporarily "uglify" the neighborhood.
Also it sucks when the trash man knocks over your trashcan trying to pick it up and just drives off!
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Old 11-21-2009, 04:10 PM
 
Location: Greeley, Colorado
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Older areas of my city (Longmont Colorado) have them. I really don't have an opinion, they have their goods and bads, just like anything else.

I did notice that alleys were far more common the farther south i go (especially in the Dallas/Plano area) however (probably due to them being bigger earlier than most cities in the north?)
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Old 11-21-2009, 06:20 PM
 
Location: South Beach and DT Raleigh
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Raleigh has some alleys in older neighborhoods. Miami Beach has lots of alleys in South Beach but they are mostly behind low and midrise multi-family and mixed used buildings.
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Old 11-21-2009, 06:48 PM
 
Location: Sarasota, Florida
15,400 posts, read 19,561,389 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by juggler View Post
Growing up in wide open Lubbock, Texas, I thought alleys in residential alleys were a fact of life. But after having lived in several other cities without alleys, I realize they are not as common as I thought.

I think alleys are probably more common in areas where density is lower and land is not at a premium, but I'm not sure. It may also have a lot do do with how the local sanitation department has decided to collect trash.

So, where do you live, do you have residential alleys and do you like/dislike them?
I grew up in Pittston, which was full of alleyways; but it was the HIGH population density there that prompted their necessity/popularity...the density was around 15,000 per square mile then, but the population has dropped with urban sprawl.
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Old 11-21-2009, 06:52 PM
 
Location: New Mexico to Texas
4,552 posts, read 13,451,261 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by juggler View Post
Growing up in wide open Lubbock, Texas, I thought alleys in residential alleys were a fact of life. But after having lived in several other cities without alleys, I realize they are not as common as I thought.

I think alleys are probably more common in areas where density is lower and land is not at a premium, but I'm not sure. It may also have a lot do do with how the local sanitation department has decided to collect trash.

So, where do you live, do you have residential alleys and do you like/dislike them?

you know what, I was in Lubbock on Tuesday and I was driving through a neighborhood, I noticed the alleys right away cause it feels like home , cause in my hometown(Eastern NM) we had alleys and the neighborhoods pretty much look like they do in Lubbock.

here in ABQ, we dont have alleys for some reason, in Northwestern NM, they dont have alleys either.

I have wondered about this before, Im glad you brought this up
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Old 11-21-2009, 07:40 PM
 
Location: Concrete jungle where dreams are made of.
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What's difference between a residential alley and an alley in a city that's between buildings? I'm kind of confused.
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Old 11-21-2009, 08:05 PM
 
Location: moving again
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^ Yea im very confused on what we are talking of
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Old 11-21-2009, 08:52 PM
 
Location: Beaverland, OR
588 posts, read 2,558,511 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rachael84 View Post
What's difference between a residential alley and an alley in a city that's between buildings? I'm kind of confused.
Well, residential alleys are alleys between rows of houses in a residential area. Here is a GoogleMaps view of a neighborhood in my hometown. See the dirt/gravel lane between the rows of houses? That's a residential alley.

An alley in a city between buildings is a commercial alley, and I'm pretty sure just about every city has those.
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