A street is a paved public thoroughfare 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. 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.
Famous quotes containing the word street:
“Everybody has that thing where they need to look one way but they come out looking another way and thats what people observe. You see someone on the street and essentially what you notice about them is the flaw. Its just extraordinary that we should have been given these peculiarities.... Something is ironic in the world and it has to do with the fact that what you intend never comes out like you intend it.”
—Diane Arbus (19231971)
“I marched in with the men afoot; a gallant show they made as they marched up High Street to the depot. Lucy and Mother Webb remained several hours until we left. I saw them watching me as I stood on the platform at the rear of the last car as long as they could see me. Their eyes swam. I kept my emotion under control enough not to melt into tears.”
—Rutherford Birchard Hayes (18221893)
“The last time I saw Paris
Her heart was warm and gay,
I heard the laughter of her heart in every street café.”
—Oscar Hammerstein II (18951960)