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:
“At any street corner the feeling of absurdity can strike any man in the face.”
—Albert Camus (19131960)
“There was an Old Man who supposed,
That the street door was partially closed;”
—Edward Lear (18121888)
“Nothing makes a man feel older than to hear a band coming up the street and not to have the impulse to rush downstairs and out on to the sidewalk.”
—Robert Benchley (18891945)