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  • What makes a street a street and an avenue an avenue?

  • They're not just named at random.

  • There’s no rulebook for building a city,

  • but there are naming conventions that are surprisingly strong, ones youll find across the world.

  • There are exceptions, but if you comb through postal service guides, state departments of transportation, and dictionaries, you can start to decipher a code behind our roads.

  • It starts simple: a road can be anything that connects two points.

  • A way is a small side street off a road. But then things build up.

  • Streets are public ways that have buildings on both sides. And youll recognize them because they often

  • run perpendicular to avenues, which will have trees or buildings on both sides too. The cardinal directions

  • North, South, East, or Westvary by city, but that perpendicular pattern of streets and avenues is common to many places.

  • This is a boulevard — a big wide street with trees on both sides. Youll find a median in a lot of boulevards, too.

  • It’s basically the opposite of a lane, which is a narrow road, often in a rural area.

  • A drive takes its cues from the environmentit’s a long winding road that might have its route shaped by a nearby mountain or lake.

  • That might lead to a terrace: a street that follows the top of a slope.

  • A place, however, is a road or a street with no throughway (basically a dead end).

  • Meanwhile, a court will end in a circle or loop, without a throughway.

  • It’s like a cousin to a plaza or squarean open public space that’s surrounded by businesses or streets.

  • And all of these roads connect to the wider world. A frontage road (or access road or service road) runs parallel to a larger road, providing local access.

  • That larger public road might be a highway — a major public road that connects larger cities.

  • An interstate is part of a highway system, but it’s defined by being a federally funded network of roads.

  • It often goes between states, but it doesn’t have toHawaii has Interstate H1, and you don’t want to take an interstate to get there.

  • A turnpike is part of a highway, but it usually means youll hit a tollbooth, while

  • a freeway is distinguished by size, with 2 or more lanes on each side.

  • A beltway, meanwhile, is a highway that surrounds a whole city (like a belt).

  • A parkway is a decorated public road, usually called that for the parkland on the side of the road. Wanna know why you drive on a parkway and park on a driveway?

  • Parkways were originally more pastoral, and they had that parkland on the side, and driveways were often longer, making themwaysoff ofdrives.”

  • A junction is where two roads crossin an interchange, it’s at a different height, while at an intersection it’s at the same height.

  • Causeways are different raised roads that pass across low or swampy ground, or water.

  • And the rest of the most common roads are the odds and ends.

  • Crescents are winding roads that usually resemble...well, a crescent, and often attach to a road at both ends.

  • An alley is a small pathway between buildings, which might not be driveable.

  • And then there’s an esplanade — a long open path or road near the ocean, that’s also called a promenade if it’s primarily for walking.

  • All these names aren’t there to confuse us, but to make roads and cities clearer.

  • And now you won’t just know where you are, but how you got there, too.

  • So these street naming conventions are just thatthey are conventions, they are not hard and fast rules, and there are plenty of exceptions.

  • And that is the case in Tuscon, Arizona, because in Tuscon, the streets run East/West, the avenues run North/South,

  • and something called the Stravenuepostal abbreviationSTRA” — runs diagonally.

What makes a street a street and an avenue an avenue?

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B2 US Vox road street interstate highway public

How streets, roads, and avenues are different

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    liufei posted on 2017/05/07
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