Not every city has them and none have more than we do--I'm speaking of the Chicago alley; that back street agglomeration of ubiquitous urban grit. In case you were wondering, here's a quick Q & A on the subject:
How many are there?
-- Close to 1900 miles worth throughout 95% of the neighborhood blocks.
When was the first Chicago alley annexed?
How wide are they?
--16 feet minimum (although a few 'grandfathered' ones are as narrow as 12 feet). Most, however, are 18 feet.
Are they One-Way only?
Not usually. In fact, the 'One-Way Only' Chicago alley is a rare easement. However, try telling that to the garbage truck coming your way.
Can you park in one over night?
--Now what do you think? (Actually, the Chicago City Ordinance states that you can load and unload in an alley but for "no longer than is necessary." Yeah, right.
Will the City of Chicago tow your ride from an alley?
--Oh hell yes.
How much will it cost you?--$150 Ticket; $150 Tow.
Who plows the alleys in winter?--Usually nobody.
Are taxis allowed to pick-up or drop-off a fare in a Chicago alley?
--Hmmm. Good question. I've been told 'No' by more than one over the years.
Can you work on you car in an alley?--Well you can, but the fine is $25.
Is there a Speed Limit?
--Yep. 15 MPH.
And in case you find yourself in that "no longer than necessary" trick bag while unloading the Costco cargo click here >>> City of Chicago Towing Locator.