I’ve been keeping my eyes open for narrow streets in my daily journeys, and here are a few photos of them.
Downtown San Francisco has many alleys that feel great; nicely scaled, lots of buildings around, and the roadways are small enough that the cars move very slowly, or not at all. I felt perfectly comfortable walking down the middle of the street. Maiden Lane is a pretty well known small street, but even though I’ve walked it many times it always reveals more interesting details. It’s also surprisingly calm given the fast-paced traffic that exists on Grant and Kearny, and all the other surrounding streets.
The next few are from Oakland. Just west of Broadway 13th street turns into a pretty interesting pedestrian street. The BART station leads right onto this street, and it runs from there to Preservation Park, which is another interesting block to explore another time. The federal building is a constant presence, and if you walk down the street you walk right through the large atrium. Taking a photo around there attracted lots of security guards, so I kept moving.
This next stretch has an interesting little amphitheater. Until relatively recently, the building on the left was an abandoned construction site, an apartment building that ran out of financing in the economic crash. But someone rescued it, and it really makes this walk pretty pleasant.
Downtown Oakland has lots of great things happening these days, it is becoming decidedly more urban, in a good way, and the streets are becoming increasingly activated. Though the stretch above was sparsely populated the day I took these photos.