The Info List - Fleet Street

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A street is a public thoroughfare (usually paved) in a built environment. It is a public parcel of land adjoining buildings in an urban context, on which people may freely assemble, interact, and move about. A street can be as simple as a level patch of dirt, but is more often paved with a hard, durable surface such as concrete, cobblestone or brick. Portions may also be smoothed with asphalt, embedded with rails, or otherwise prepared to accommodate non-pedestrian traffic. Originally the word "street" simply meant a paved road (Latin: "via strata"). The word "street" is still sometimes used colloquially as a synonym for "road", for example in connection with the ancient Watling Street, but city residents and urban planners draw a crucial modern distinction: a road's main function is transportation, while streets facilitate public interaction.[1] Examples of streets include pedestrian streets, alleys, and city-centre streets too crowded for road vehicles to pass. Conversely, highways and motorways are types of roads, but few would refer to them as streets.[2][3]


1 Etymology 2 Role in the built environment

2.1 Circulation

2.1.1 Vehicular traffic 2.1.2 Parking
for vehicles 2.1.3 Sidewalk
and bicycle traffic 2.1.4 Tramlines

2.2 Vehicular amenities and roadside hardware

2.2.1 Landscaping

2.3 Utilities 2.4 Street
numbering 2.5 Interaction 2.6 Identity

3 As distinct from other spaces

3.1 Nomenclature

4 Culture 5 See also 6 References 7 External links


A city-centre street in Frankfurt, Germany.

The Porta Rosa was the main street of Elea, connecting the northern quarter with the southern quarter. The street is 5 meters wide and has an incline of 18 % in the steepest part. It is paved with limestone blocks, griders cut in square blocks, and on one side a small gutter for the drainage of rain water. The building is dated during the time of the reorganization of the city during the Hellenistic age
Hellenistic age
(4th–3rd centuries BC).

The word street has its origins in the Latin strata (meaning "paved road" - abbreviation from via strata[4]); it is thus related to stratum and stratification. Ancient Greek stratos means army: Greeks originally built roads to move their armies. Old English
Old English
applied the word to Roman roads in Britain
Roman roads in Britain
such as Ermine Street, Watling Street, etc. Later it acquired a dialectical meaning of "straggling village", which were often laid out on the verges of Roman roads and these settlements often became named Stretton. In the Middle Ages, a road was a way people travelled, with street applied specifically to paved ways.[5] Role in the built environment[edit]

Rue Saint-Jacques, a street in Montreal, 1910.

The street is a public easement, one of the few shared between all sorts of people. As a component of the built environment as ancient as human habitation, the street sustains a range of activities vital to civilization. Its roles are as numerous and diverse as its ever-changing cast of characters. Streets can be loosely categorized as main streets and side streets. Main streets are usually broad with a relatively high level of activity. Commerce
and public interaction are more visible on main streets, and vehicles may use them for longer-distance travel. Side streets are quieter, often residential in use and character, and may be used for vehicular parking. Circulation[edit] Main article: Traffic See also: Street
network Circulation, or less broadly, transportation, is perhaps a street's most visible use, and certainly among the most important. The unrestricted movement of people and goods within a city is essential to its commerce and vitality, and streets provide the physical space for this activity. In the interest of order and efficiency, an effort may be made to segregate different types of traffic. This is usually done by carving a road through the middle for motorists, reserving pavements on either side for pedestrians; other arrangements allow for streetcars, trolleys, and even wastewater and rainfall runoff ditches (common in Japan
and India). In the mid-20th century, as the automobile threatened to overwhelm city streets with pollution and ghastly accidents, many urban theorists came to see this segregation as not only helpful but necessary in order to maintain mobility. Le Corbusier, for one, perceived an ever-stricter segregation of traffic as an essential affirmation of social order—a desirable, and ultimately inevitable, expression of modernity. To this end, proposals were advanced to build "vertical streets" where road vehicles, pedestrians, and trains would each occupy their own levels. Such an arrangement, it was said, would allow for even denser development in the future. These plans were never implemented comprehensively, a fact which today's urban theorists regard as fortunate for vitality and diversity. Rather, vertical segregation is applied on a piecemeal basis, as in sewers, utility poles, depressed highways, elevated railways, common utility ducts, the extensive complex of underground malls surrounding Tokyo Station
Tokyo Station
and the Ōtemachi
subway station, the elevated pedestrian skyway networks of Minneapolis
and Calgary, the underground cities of Atlanta
and Montreal, and the multilevel streets in Chicago. Transportation
is often misunderstood to be the defining characteristic, or even the sole purpose, of a street. This has not been the case since the word "street" came to be limited to urban situations, and even in the automobile age, is still demonstrably false. A street may be temporarily blocked to all through traffic in order to secure the space for other uses, such as a street fair, a flea market, children at play, filming a movie, or construction work. Many streets are bracketed by bollards or Jersey barriers so as to keep out vehicles. These measures are often taken in a city's busiest areas, the "destination" districts, when the volume of activity outgrows the capacity of private passenger vehicles to support it. A feature universal to all streets is a human-scale design that gives its users the space and security to feel engaged in their surroundings, whatever through traffic may pass. Vehicular traffic[edit] Main article: Traffic See also: Carriageway

A street full of vehicles in Shanghai

Kitano Street
in Kobe, Hyogo, Japan.

An empty street in Misasa, Tottori, Japan.

Despite this, the operator of a motor vehicle may (incompletely) regard a street as merely a thoroughfare for vehicular travel or parking. As far as concerns the driver, a street can be one-way or two-way: vehicles on one-way streets may travel in only one direction, while those on two-way streets may travel both ways. One way streets typically have signs reading "ONE WAY" and an arrow showing the direction of allowed travel. Most two-way streets are wide enough for at least two lanes of traffic. Which lane is for which direction of traffic depends on what country the street is located in. On broader two-way streets, there is often a centre line marked down the middle of the street separating those lanes on which vehicular traffic goes in one direction from other lanes in which traffic goes in the opposite direction. Occasionally, there may be a median strip separating lanes of opposing traffic. If there is more than one lane going in one direction on a main street, these lanes may be separated by intermittent lane lines, marked on the street pavement. Side streets often do not have centre lines or lane lines. Parking
for vehicles[edit] Main article: Parking Many streets, especially side streets in residential areas, have an extra lane's width on one or both sides for parallel parking. Most minor side streets allowing free parallel parking do not have pavement markings designating the parking lane. Main streets more often have parking lanes marked. Some streets are too busy or narrow for parking on the side. Sometimes parking on the sides of streets is allowed only at certain times. Curbside signs often state regulations about parking. Some streets, particularly in business areas, may have parking meters into which coins must be paid to allow parking in the adjacent space for a limited time. Other parking meters work on a credit card and ticket basis or pay and display. Parking
lane markings on the pavement may designate the meter corresponding to a parking space. Some wide streets with light traffic allow angle parking. Sidewalk
and bicycle traffic[edit] Sidewalks (US usage) or pavements (UK usage) are often located alongside on one or usually both sides of the street within the public land strips beyond the curbs. Sidewalks serve a traffic purpose, by making walking easier and more attractive, but they also serve a social function, allowing neighbors to meet and interact on their walks. They also can foster economic activity, such as window shopping and sidewalk cafes. Some studies have found that shops on streets with sidewalks get more customers than similar shops without sidewalks.[6] An important element of sidewalk design is accessibility for persons with disabilities. Features that make sidewalks more accessible include curb ramps, tactile paving and accessible traffic signals. The Americans with Disabilities Act
Americans with Disabilities Act
requires accessibility improvement on new and reconstructed streets within the US. In most jurisdictions, bicycles are legally allowed to use streets, and required to follow the same traffic laws as motor vehicle traffic. Where the volume of bicycle traffic warrants and available right-of-way allows, provisions may be made to separate cyclists from motor vehicle traffic. Wider lanes may be provided next to the curb, or shoulders may be provided. Bicycle lanes
Bicycle lanes
may be used on busy streets to provide some separation between bicycle traffic and motor vehicle traffic. The bicycle lane may be placed between the travel lanes and the parking lanes, between the parking lanes and the curb, or for increased safety for cyclists, between curb and sidewalk. These poorer designs can lead to Dooring
incidents and are unsafe for cycling. A more sensible design is found in the Netherlands
with a Protected Bicycle Path totally separate from the traffic which is safe for cycling.

Safe from traffic for cycling along a fully segregated Fietspad, properly designed cycling infrastructure in Amsterdam.

Tramlines[edit] Trams
are generally considered to be environmentally friendly with tramlines running in streets with a combination of tram lanes or separate alignments are used, sometimes on a segregated right of way.[7] Signalling and effective braking reduce the risk of a tram accident. Vehicular amenities and roadside hardware[edit]

A suburban street in Amman, Jordan.

Often, a curb (British English: Kerb) is used to separate the vehicle traffic lanes from the adjacent pavement area and where people on bicycles are considered properly are used to separate cycling from traffic as well. Street
signs, parking meters, bicycle stands, benches, traffic signals, and street lights are often found adjacent to streets. They may be behind the sidewalk, or between the sidewalk and the curb. Landscaping[edit] There may be a road verge (a strip of grass or other vegetation) between the carriageway (North American English: Roadway) and the pavement on either side of the street on which Grass
or trees are often grown there for landscaping. These are often placed for beautification, but are increasingly being used to control stormwater. Utilities[edit] Although primarily used for traffic, streets are important corridors for utilities such as electric power; communications such as telephone, cable television and fiber optic lines; storm and sanitary sewers; and natural gas lines.

Damrak, in Amsterdam
with a tram, Fietspad and pavement.

numbering[edit] Practically all public streets in Western countries and the majority elsewhere (though not in Japan; see Japanese addressing system) are given a street or road name, or at least a number, to identify them and any addresses located along the streets. Alleys, in some places, do not have names. The length of a lot of land along a street is referred to as the frontage of the lot.[citation needed] Interaction[edit]

Pedestrians walking along Elfreth's Alley, Philadelphia

A street may assume the role of a town square for its regulars. Jane Jacobs, an economist and prominent urbanist, wrote extensively on the ways that interaction among the people who live and work on a particular street—"eyes on the street"—can reduce crime, encourage the exchange of ideas, and generally make the world a better place. Identity[edit] A street can often serve as the catalyst for the neighborhood's prosperity, culture and solidarity. New Orleans’ Bourbon Street
Bourbon Street
is famous not only for its active nightlife but also for its role as the center of the city's French Quarter. Similarly, the Bowery
has at various times been New York City's theater district, red-light district, skid row, restaurant supply district, and the center of the nation's underground punk scene. Madison Avenue
Madison Avenue
and Fleet Street
Fleet Street
are so strongly identified with their respective most famous types of commerce, that their names are sometimes applied to firms located elsewhere. Other streets mark divisions between neighborhoods of a city. For example, Yonge Street
Yonge Street
divides Toronto
into east and west sides, and East Capitol Street
East Capitol Street
divides Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
into north and south. Some streets are associated with the beautification of a town or city. Greenwood, Mississippi's Grand Boulevard
was once named one of America's ten most beautiful streets by the U.S. Chambers of Commerce and the Garden Clubs of America. The 1,000 oak trees lining Grand Boulevard
were planted in 1916 by Sally Humphreys Gwin, a charter member of the Greenwood Garden Club. In 1950, Gwin received a citation from the National Congress of the Daughters of the American Revolution in recognition of her work in the conservation of trees.[8][9] Streets also tend to aggregate establishments of similar nature and character. East 9th Street
in Manhattan, for example, offers a cluster of Japanese restaurants, clothing stores, and cultural venues. In Washington, D.C., 17th Street
and P Street
are well known as epicenters of the city's (relatively small) gay culture. Many cities have a Radio Row
Radio Row
or Restaurant
Row. Like in Philadelphia
there is a small street called Jewelers' row giving the identity of a "Diamond district". This phenomenon is the subject of urban location theory in economics. In Cleveland, Ohio, East 4th Street
has become restaurant row for Cleveland. On East 4th is Michael Symon's Lola Bistro and other restaurants. As distinct from other spaces[edit]

Centre Ville, Beirut, Lebanon

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A road, like a street, is often paved and used for travel. However, a street is characterized by the degree and quality of street life it facilitates, whereas a road serves primarily as a through passage for road vehicles or (less frequently) pedestrians. Buskers, beggars, boulevardiers, patrons of pavement cafés, peoplewatchers, streetwalkers, and a diversity of other characters are habitual users of a street; the same people would not typically be found on a road. In rural and suburban environments where street life is rare, the terms "street" and "road" are frequently considered interchangeable. Still, even here, what is called a "street" is usually a smaller thoroughfare, such as a road within a housing development feeding directly into individual driveways. In the last half of the 20th century these streets often abandoned the tradition of a rigid, rectangular grid, and instead were designed to discourage through traffic. This and other traffic calming methods provided quiet for families and play space for children. Adolescent suburbanites find, in attenuated form, the amenities of street life in shopping malls where vehicles are forbidden. A town square or plaza is a little more like a street, but a town square is rarely paved with asphalt and may not make any concessions for through traffic at all. Nomenclature[edit] Main article: Street
or road name

Nevsky Prospekt, is the main street in the city of St. Petersburg, 1901.

Hurontario St. in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, is commonly referred to by its former highway number

An avenue in São Paulo.

There is a haphazard relationship, at best, between a thoroughfare's function and its name. For example, London's Abbey Road
serves all the vital functions of a street, despite its name, and locals are more apt to refer to the "street" outside than the "road". A desolate road in rural Montana, on the other hand, may bear a sign proclaiming it "Davidson Street", but this does not make it a "street" except in the original sense of a paved road. In the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
many towns will refer to their main thoroughfare as the High Street
High Street
(in the United States
United States
and Canada
it would be called the Main Street—however, occasionally "Main Street" in a city or town is a street other than the de facto main thoroughfare), and many of the ways leading off it will be named "Road" despite the urban setting. Thus the town's so-called "Roads" will actually be more street like than a road. Some streets may even be called highways. For example, Hurontario Street
in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, is commonly referred to as " Highway
10"—even though such a highway designation no longer officially exists through the city. This is probably because the street is a modern suburban arterial that was urbanized after decades of having the status and function a true highway, so people continue to use the number from force of habit. In some other English-speaking countries, such as Australia and New Zealand, cities are often divided by a main "Road", with "Streets" leading from this "Road", or the cities are divided by thoroughfares known as "Streets" or "Roads" with no apparent differentiation between the two. In Auckland, for example, the main shopping precinct is located around Queen Street
and Karangahape Road. Streets have existed for as long as humans have lived in permanent settlements (see civilization). However, modern civilization in much of the New World developed around transportation provided by motor vehicles. In some parts of the English-speaking world, such as North America, many think of the street as a thoroughfare for vehicular traffic first and foremost. In this view, pedestrian traffic is incidental to the street's purpose; a street consists of a thoroughfare running through the middle (in essence, a road), and may or may not have pavements (i.e., sidewalks) along the sides. In an even narrower sense, some may think of a street as only the vehicle-driven and parking part of the thoroughfare. Thus, sidewalks (pavements) and road verges would not be thought of as part of the street. A mother may tell her toddlers, "Don't go out into the street, so you don't get hit by a car." Among urban residents of the English-speaking world, the word "street" appears to carry its original connotations (i.e., the facilitation of traffic as a prime purpose, and "street life" as an incidental benefit). For instance, a New York Times writer lets casually slip the observation that automobile-laden Houston Street, in lower Manhattan, is "a street that can hardly be called 'street' anymore, transformed years ago into an eight-lane raceway that alternately resembles a Nascar event and a parking lot."[10] Published in the paper's Metro section, the article evidently presumes an audience with an innate grasp of the modern urban role of the street. To the readers of the Metro section, vehicular traffic does not reinforce, but rather detracts from, the essential "street-ness" of a street. At least one map has been made to illustrate the geography of naming conventions for thoroughfares; avenue, boulevard, circle, road, street, and other suffixes are compared and contrasted.[11] Culture[edit] Happy street, alternatively called open street or fun street, are open to all public celebrations organised in many European and Indian cities; mostly on some Sunday or some other specific day, initiative encourages people to use non-motorised transport and to come out onto the streets to socialize every Sunday morning through a wide array of activities; Where in families and people of all ages can simply get out in the middle of the street to walk, run, jog, dance, bicycle, sing, skate or play.[12][13][14][15] According to Sandeep Nanduri, the Corporation Commissioner of Madurai, “The idea is to socialise comfortably and safely with elements of entertainment thrown in. The aim is to keep all vehicles out and allow the public in.” [12][13] Happy Street
comes to different areas on the some specific Sunday of every month.[12][13] Several cities across India
including Kolkata,[16] Pune, Thane, Ahmedabad, Madurai, Benglore[17]Visakhapatnam[18] have been successfully implementing it while places like Chennai and Coimbatore have introduced car-free Sundays.[13] Detroiters[19] Halifax[20] See also[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Street.

Alley Built environment City bicycle Cycling
infrastructure Intersection Lane; Green lane (road) Living street Manual for Streets (in the UK) Spreuerhofstraße
(Narrowest street in the World) Pedestrian-friendly Pedestrian
street, Auto-free zone Protected intersection Road Street
furniture Street
reclamation Street
suffix Trams Urban car Woonerf


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^ Dictionary. ^ Road
vs Street
at Using English forum. ^ Avenue vs Street
at Using English forum. ^ History of English, Jonathan Culpeper, Routledge 1997, p. 2 ^ "Online Etymology". Retrieved 2006-11-14.  ^ "Economic Revitalization". Retrieved 2011-07-15.  ^ " Tram
– Definition and More from the Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary". merriam-webster.com. Archived from the original on 9 April 2015.  ^ Delta Democrat-Times, November 26, 1956. ^ Kirkpatrick, Mario Carter. Mississippi Off the Beaten Path. GPP Travel, 2007. ^ New York Times article(registration required) ^ Bill Rankin (2005). "Vancouver Roads". radicalcartography. Retrieved 2010-06-19.  ^ a b c "Happy Street: Latest News, Videos and Photos - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 23 December 2017.  ^ a b c d Basu, Soma (31 March 2017). "Happiness on the street". Retrieved 23 December 2017 – via www.thehindu.com.  ^ "One woman's simple recipe for a happy street". BBC News. Retrieved 23 December 2017.  ^ (https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/video/womans-simple-recipe-for-a-happy-street/vp-BBFl2hg) ^ https://www.facebook.com/Millennium-Post-1121157364607635/. "Elgin Road
to take on the garb of 'Fun Street' on Christmas eve". millenniumpost.in. Retrieved 23 December 2017.  ^ http://www.deccanchronicle.com/nation/current-affairs/280316/bengaluru-commercial-street-becomes-happy-street-for-a-day.html ^ http://www.thehansindia.com/posts/index/Andhra-Pradesh/2017-09-25/RK-Beach-to-showcase-North-Coastal-traditions/328950 ^ http://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/local/detroit-city/2017/10/01/open-streets-detroit-festival/106214088/ ^ http://thechronicleherald.ca/halifaxcitizen/1503980-switch-open-street-sunday-takes-on-halifax

External links[edit]

A virtual exhibition on the history of streets AskOxford: What is the difference between a 'street' and a 'road'? streetnote, street music Live street music and musicians from the streets of the USA [1] Biannual exhibition of poetry and documentary about streets and traffic. Streetsblog – News focusing on streets and street life in the modern urban landscape. (No affiliation.) What distinguishes a street from a lane from a road from a boulevard, etc.? – An Ask Yahoo! editor's examination of the issue. A Treatise on Highway
Construction, Designed as a Text-book and Work of Reference for All who May be Engaged in the Location, Construction, Or Maintenance of Roads, Streets, and Pavements, By Austin Thomas Byrne, 1900 – Boston appears to be the first city in the United States to pave its streets, by 1663, many with pebbles.

v t e

Streets and roadways

Types of road


Freeway / Motorway Dual carriageway / Divided highway / Expressway Elevated highway

By country

Australia Brazil China Croatia Czech Republic Germany Greece Hong Kong India Ireland Italy Pakistan Portugal Spain United Kingdom United States

Main roads

Arterial road Collector road County highway Express-collector setup Farm-to-market road Highway Link road Two-lane expressway 2+1 road 2+2 road Parkway Super two Trunk road Highway
systems by country

Local roads

Alley Backroad Bicycle boulevard Boulevard Country lane Dead end Driveway Frontage road Green lane Main street Primitive road Road Side road Single carriageway Single-track road Street Sunken lane

Other terms

Channelization Concurrency Detour Hierarchy of roads Private highway Route number

route Business route

hierarchy Toll road


Interchanges (grade-separated)

Cloverleaf Diamond Free-flow Directional T Diverging diamond Parclo Raindrop Roundabout Single-point urban (SPUI) Stack Three-level diamond Trumpet

Intersections (at-grade)

3-way junction Bowtie Box junction Continuous flow Hook turn Jughandle Michigan left Offset T-intersection Protected intersection Quadrant roadway Right-in/right-out
(RIRO) Roundabout Seagull intersection Split intersection Superstreet Texas U-turn Traffic
circle Turnaround


concrete Bioasphalt Brick Chipseal Cobblestone Concrete

Reinforced concrete

Corduroy Crocodile cracking Crushed stone Diamond grinding of pavement Dirt Full depth recycling Glassphalt Gravel Ice Macadam Pavement milling Permeable Plank Rubberized asphalt Sealcoat Sett Stamped asphalt Tarmac Texture


Aquaplaning Black ice Bleeding Crosswind Dead Man's Curve Expansion joint Fog Ford Hairpin turn Level crossing Manhole cover Oil spill Oversize load Pothole Road
debris Road
slipperiness Road
train Roadkill Rockfall Rut Speed bump Storm drain Washboarding Washout Whiteout

Space and time allocation

Barrier transfer machine Bicycle lane Climbing lane Complete streets Contraflow lane Contraflow lane
Contraflow lane
reversal High-occupancy toll lane High-occupancy vehicle lane Lane Living street Managed lane Median / Central reservation Motorcycle lane Passing lane Pedestrian
crossing Pedestrian
zone Refuge island Reversible lane Road
diet Road
verge Runaway truck ramp Shared space Sidewalk / Pavement Shoulder Street running
Street running
railway Traffic
calming Traffic
directionality Traffic
island Traffic
lanes Traffic
signal preemption Unused highway Wide outside lane Woonerf


Bollard Botts' dots Cable barrier Cat's eye (road) Concrete
step barrier Constant-slope barrier Curb F-Shape barrier Guard rail Jersey barrier Kassel kerb Noise barrier Raised pavement marker Road
surface marking Rumble strip Traffic
barrier Traffic


Bridge Causeway Overpass / Flyover Underpass / Tunnel

Glossary of road transport terms Road