I love having an alley again. Every time I go back there to take out the trash, I pause for a bit and look down one way, and then the other. It’s always quiet and the light is always nice.
I’m reminded of this passage from Suburban Nation:
The alley is often criticized for its lack of neatness, but that is its essence: it’s where all the messy stuff goes. From garage doors to trash containers, transformers, electrical meters, and telephone equipment, the alley takes them out of public view, something that is all the more necessary these days with the advent of recycling bins and cable TV boxes. Also, by handling many of the neighborhood’s underground utilities, alleys allow streets to be narrower and to be planted with trees, which becomes difficult when water, sewer, gas, electricity, cable, and telephone are all placing demands on the front right-of-way. Alleys are also appreciated by the fire chief, since they allow firefighters another path to the building. Alleys may also provide direct access to backyard granny flats, giving them an address independent of the main house.