Alleys have dual connotations. Dark, sketchy pockets that quicken steps and fuel furtive glances. Or quaint, traffic-free, quiet spaces that lure people for events or simple strolls.
For most, it depends on the city and neighborhood. Attractive alleys or urban corridors draw pedestrians and offer experiences that make an area highly walkable. Numerous urban neighborhoods have these positive-vibed alleys.
Feet First Philly shared a tour of 12 quaint, cobblestone Philadelphia alleys that draw walkers. Krista Guerrieri of Feet First Philly writes, “Many of Philadelphia’s quaint alley streets are located in Washington Square West.” She also points out the value of well-designed, walker-friendly zones that any urban planner could create. “With its playful statues and wide sidewalk, Lawrence Court is a favorite place for young families.”
Belden Alley in San Francisco offers a cool, shady corridor of numerous European restaurants and hosts events on Bastille Day and other EU-significant dates. B44 is one San Francisco restaurant located in Belden Place.
Seattle’s historic Pioneer Square has several pedestrian-friendly alleys, including Nord Alley where events are often held. “Nord Alley has regular First Thursday Art Walk events,” writes Liz Stenning of the International Sustainability Institute. “Great alley to stroll through anytime to check out rotating art. In July the Tour de France was shown on a big screen.”
What are the attractive alleys in your city? Share your favorite alleys via Walk Score.