Weekend trip to Philadelphia: Urban design highlight

We took a trip to Philadelphia (via Amtrak — woo!) over the summer. There were a lot of cool things in Philadelphia, like Amish pretzels, but I wanted to highlight the charming alleys. They’re residential streets with historic row houses.

The highlight is how narrow the alleys are. Technically, they’re wide enough to drive a car down but they’re so narrow that drivers have to go just about walking speed and there is nowhere to park. They are through streets, but the width keeps drivers from wanting to use them so they remain useful (and safe) for pedestrians and cyclists.

These old streets are really nice to use and the old houses give them extra charm.

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Sadly, streets like these can’t be built under modern road design requirements. (Perhaps private streets with this design would be allowed.)

Philly also has lots of street art. In an effort to reduce graffiti, the city funds murals and mosaics.

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