The concept of what an alley is varies from place to place. But alleys everywhere are in a state of flux, changing and responding to how people live and businesses operate. Some of these changes are pretty exciting – and have a lot to do with how they are paved, and if the potholes are kept at bay.
In Chicago, adherents to the Chicago Plan of 1909 (which was drawn by up by the venerated Daniel Burnham, a design described as “the most influential document in the history of urban planning”), more than 1,400 miles of alleys provide utility access and places for garages for city residents as well as businesses, large and small. By contrast, Manhattan (New York City) has almost no alleys. The difference is most visible in how Chicagoans have their garbage picked up from the alleys, while tony New Yorkers find themselves sidestepping garbage (and garbage smells) that is placed at the curb, at the front doors of multimillion-dollar town homes.Read More