Where Georgetown’s Alleys Are

 Detail of map courtesy of Rob Pitingolo.

Last week, using data from DC Data Catalog Rob Pitingolo published a map of all of DC’s alleys. GM’s cut and pasted above a detail of that map showing just Georgetown.

Take a look at Rob’s full map here and compare it to Georgetown’s. Georgetown appears to have fewer alleys than the rest of central DC. It’s interesting to speculate why that is. Presumably during the formation of the village’s grid, Georgetown was as dependent (if not more) on horses and stables as the rest of the historic city was. It’s odd that many large blocks don’t have any alleys at all (of course, larger homes had carriage passageways from the front to the back to allow a horse to be housed in the back without an alley).

One explanation could be that the alleys once existed, but now they don’t. One example of this is Dent Place in the West Village. Many homes on that street have unusually long backyards because in the 1980s, the city allowed the residents to close the alley and claim the land for their own.

Just eyeballing it, it also seems that the West Village has more alleyways than the East. This is consistent with GM’s observations. Many of the alleyways in the West Village are large and are lined with garages. Most (but not all) of the East Village alleyways have a parking pad at most. GM’s not sure why it turned out that way.


Filed under Transportation

3 responses to “Where Georgetown’s Alleys Are

  1. Sorry this looks so pixiliated. If you want, I can transfer a higher resolution map over to you (it will probably be at least 10 MB).

  2. Pingback: Office of Planning Testifies | The Georgetown Metropolitan

  3. My alley is not depicted on this map….which calls into question
    the accuracy of the whole thing. Alley missing is on O street between 28th and 27th. Also missing is my father’s on O Street between 28th and 29th.

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