When we embark on our favorite road trips throughout the year, we see places, landmarks, and scenery that we’re not accustomed to. Thanks to the roads that build this country, that’s possible regardless of where we live. But as you’re turning down Lincoln Way or cruising down Pennsylvania Avenue, have you ever wondered what makes a roadway a way, street, avenue, boulevard, etc.? If you never knew what the differences between the types of streets are, we’re here to help.
Big City Living
The most common name used for a roadway is actually “road.” A road can be any two connecting points, whereas “streets” connect two points but have buildings on either side. You might also find many “ways” near a road because a way is a small side street off of a road.
An “avenue,” which we frequently see in everyone’s favorite family board game, Monopoly, is akin to a road or a street. However, an avenue has buildings and/or trees on either side while running perpendicular to streets. A “boulevard” is a wide street with a median and vegetation on both sides.
Take Me Home
When he wrote his famous tune, John Denver wasn’t taking any boulevards through country roads. More than likely, Mr. Denver saw different colors of exhaust smoke when he was veering off to different “lanes.” A lane is the exact opposite of a boulevard since a lane is a narrow roadway usually found in rural areas.
Another street name in rural areas is “drive.” Drives are long and bending roads that differ in shape based on their surroundings. A drive could go up a mountain or around a lake.
Lifestyles of the Rich and the Famous
We may associate some street names because of our history with Monopoly. For example, Park Place is one of the most lucrative properties in the game, so whenever you hear someone lives in a ”place,” you might figure they are well off.
In reality, a place is a street that doesn’t have a throughway. In layman’s terms, a place will eventually lead to a dead end. You will probably find many places in many neighborhoods that are somewhat enclosed.
A “court” is another one you’ll see in many affluent neighborhoods because a court is a road that ends with a circle. Homes on a cul de sac, such as a court, are usually more expensive than other homes on the block.
Learning the differences between the types of streets may not be helpful unless you’re on a quiz bowl team in high school or playing trivia at a restaurant. But at least you know the names of the streets, roads, and courts aren’t random. They do indeed have reasons for it, unbeknownst to many of us.