Rear alleys and lanes add significant value to neighborhoods by providing while hiding many of the unsightly but necessary elements of modern life, such as parking and utilities. Rear-facing garages create unbroken streetscapes, making them more visually appealing.
Alleys are most common in urban locations; they are wider than the more residential rear lanes. In many locations, the majority of services i.e. mail boxes, garages, power transformers and so on, are placed in the back, with only the front entrance and windows visible from the sidewalk.