A street? What about an avenue, or a boulevard – a court, a drive, a lane, or a trail? Who decides what kind of “road” it is?
As it turns out, there are rules that are (mostly) followed. I asked my transportation expert friend, Frank Consoli, for advice. Here is his response. “A ‘road’ is anything that connects two points, while ‘streets’ are public ways which have buildings on either side. Avenues, meanwhile, have the same attributes as streets but run perpendicular to them, while a boulevard is essentially a wide street (or avenue), with a median through the middle.” He mentioned that there are national standards, but that local jurisdictions may have some leeway when it comes to these designations.
But one concern that Frank mentioned is something I had not considered. The emergency responders need to know how to find your house! That’s the main reason municipalities and counties try to avoid duplicate names. So there could be a Maple Avenue and a Maple Street, but only one of each. At least, that’s the goal. And adding directions to the names doesn’t help with clarity. I always have to pause when I hear my GPS’ voice tell me to turn South on North Orange Avenue. . .