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Alleys
FAQs
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What is an alley?

Both state law and city ordinance define alleys as a “public way that does not exceed thirty feet in width.”

In Saint Paul, alleys are designated as either Paved, Oiled, Unimproved Assessed (these are alleys with a gravel surface that Public Works maintains) and Unimproved Not-Assessed (can be gravel, dirt or ungraded alleys that Public Works does not maintain).

Note: An asphalt surfaced or oiled alley may be considered unimproved if the work was done in the past by a private contractor/property owner and Public Works has never maintained the alley.

Who is responsible for clearing the alley of snow and leaves?

Responsibility for this type of work falls to the abutting property owners, acting as a collective. A common practice for many alley users is to pool their resources and hire private snow removal service.

I would like a street light in the alley, where do I go?

Alley lights are installed and maintained by Xcel Energy at the request of adjacent property owners. It is up to the adjacent owners to arrange for alley lights directly with Xcel Energy and to pay the cost of installation, maintenance and operation of alley lights. For alley light problems or installation, call Xcel Energy at 800-960-6235, email at or go to the Xcel Energy website.

Will the city put a “no dumping” or “slow-children at play, etc. sign in the alley?

To initiate such a request, contact Elizabeth Stiffler, Civil Engineer, in Public Works’ Traffic Engineering section at 266-6210.

What is the speed limit for alleys?

Unless otherwise posted, the speed limit for alleys is ten miles per hour.

Can I park in an alley?

Parking in alleys is permitted so long as the parked vehicle does not block access for other vehicles using the alley or attempting to enter or exit the alley from adjacent private property or public right-of-way.

Someone is blocking my alley, who do I call?

Saint Paul Police at (651)-291-1111 (non-emergency)

Who is responsible for cleaning up the trash in the alley?

Saint Paul Public Works’ Street & Bridge Maintenance Division will respond to this type of request. Contact at (651)-266-9700.

Is it required to have the addresses numbers on the alley side of my property? Why?

Property owners are required to display their address numbers on the alley side of their property as an aid to emergency vehicles.

I’m interested in having my alley improved. Where do I start?

Alley improvements are 100% assessed against the parcels that abut the alley, and require submission of a petition to the City Council requesting a public hearing to consider approval of the work and assessments.

Interested property owners can begin the process by requesting a petition form from Scott Brimer, at Public Works’ Street Engineering and Design Division at (651)-266-6225.  Please note: residents with alley maintenance concerns for an alley that is already designated as "improved" should contact the Public Works Street Maintenance Division at (651)-266-9700.

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