What is the most common street name in U.S.
August 31, 2019 5:27 AM   Subscribe

Today I learned that the most common street name in U.S. is Second. First is the third, Third is the second with Fifth being the sixth most common. (Single reddit comment link)
posted by growabrain (55 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
 
Ok 1.... Breaking standard rules here but definitely read the comments.

And 2... Is second first and first third because of the prevalence of main streets or central Aves and then the next orderly road is number 2 ergo 2nd? This is odd data. I need to waste all Saturday on this. Brb.
posted by chasles at 5:45 AM on August 31 [5 favorites]


Hell. I was gonna edit my comment to spell positions and numerate names.... Or numerate positions and spell names.... Or use bold for names and italics for positions..... Or paranthetically enclose names and pig latin for positions.... Or.... I need an aspirin.
posted by chasles at 5:48 AM on August 31


What's on First?
posted by Kirth Gerson at 5:51 AM on August 31 [3 favorites]


No, First is third.
What's first?
Second is first.
But you said First is third.
That's right.
posted by beagle at 5:53 AM on August 31 [12 favorites]


I’m reminded of how, in Philadelphia, the Quakers were too modest to name a street “Main Street” so instead it counts down “Third,” “Second,” “Front Street.”

Of course, Philadelphia also has the memorably named Street Road and a variety of surrounding place names that are sure to raise an eyebrow (I dare a non-native to try to pronounce “Schuykill”), so take it all as you will.
posted by DoctorFedora at 6:01 AM on August 31 [8 favorites]


There's an Avenue Road a few blocks from my house in Ottawa.

And my hometown has a street called "A STREET".

I've read the word "street" enough times just now that it has started looking fake.
posted by heatherlogan at 6:13 AM on August 31 [9 favorites]


Porters Lake, Nova Scotia, Canada has a small, three-street subdivision in which the names of the streets are This St., That St., and The Other Street
posted by obscure simpsons reference at 6:32 AM on August 31 [13 favorites]


I dare a non-native to try to pronounce “Schuykill”

I see your SchuyLkill and and raise you a Conshohocken.
posted by basalganglia at 6:36 AM on August 31 [4 favorites]


Toronto also has an avenue road
posted by PinkMoose at 6:38 AM on August 31 [2 favorites]


Richmond has or had Boulevard. That's it, just Boulevard.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 6:40 AM on August 31 [4 favorites]


The most popular street name in Chéticamp, Nova Scotia (population 3000) is LeBlanc. They’ve got 2, and my bnb was on the other one.
posted by rodlymight at 6:48 AM on August 31 [8 favorites]


Our numbered streets start at 6th because they bulldozed 1st and 2nd in the early 19th century for a rail yard and then 3rd through 5th in the fifties for an urban renewal project.

Weirdly our only Main Street is a narrow residential street.
posted by octothorpe at 6:53 AM on August 31 [1 favorite]


I dare a non-native to try to pronounce “Schuykill”

I see your SchuyLkill and and raise you a Conshohocken.


Personal favorite is Wissahickon, which I was informed in the early 2000s is what happens when Snoop Dog says "Wiccan."
posted by nebulawindphone at 7:04 AM on August 31 [5 favorites]


Aw I wanted an infographic, not an Abbott & Costello routine.
posted by thejoshu at 7:08 AM on August 31 [3 favorites]


I’m reminded of how, in Philadelphia, the Quakers were too modest to name a street “Main Street” so instead it counts down “Third,” “Second,” “Front Street.”

Nah. Philadelphia doesn’t have a Main Street because that Americanism didn’t exist yet. However, Market Street did used to be named the British equivalent, High Street.
posted by Automocar at 7:24 AM on August 31 [1 favorite]


This is like on clocks, where the first hand is the second hand, the second hand is the minute hand, and the hour hand is minute.
posted by aubilenon at 7:34 AM on August 31 [9 favorites]


Aw I wanted an infographic, not an Abbott & Costello routine.

Really? I would like to see all infographics replaced by Abbot and Costello routines.
posted by 445supermag at 7:41 AM on August 31 [7 favorites]


you know i halfway thought that atlanta might have singlehandedly pushed "peachtree" into the top ten.
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 8:19 AM on August 31 [2 favorites]


I see your Conshohocken and raise you a Passyunk.
posted by biogeo at 8:41 AM on August 31 [1 favorite]


I was in Montreal on business once with a young guy who had never really had much exposure to the world beyond Texas. We got a bit lost, and as I was trying to direct him, he finally burst out, "Why the heck is every street named 'Rue' ?!?"
posted by Chrysostom at 9:08 AM on August 31 [11 favorites]


Since rural America skews the frequency quite heavily, I now want an accounting for the American street name that takes up the most space. I'm guessing this would be a little less pedestrian (in both senses of the word) because of e.g. long wide avenues in CA that span entire regions.
posted by aspersioncast at 9:42 AM on August 31




aspersion cat to combine both, though only in Spanish I guess, California has El Camino Real in which
The meaning of the term "Camino Real" has in fact changed over time. In earlier Spanish colonial times, any road under the direct jurisdiction of the Spanish crown and its viceroys was considered to be a camino real. Examples of such roads ran between principal settlements throughout Spain and its colonies such as New Spain. Most caminos reales had names apart from the appended camino real.
And my hometown has a street called "A STREET".

I lived on a West Road which only had a handful of residences (so it wasn't like it would be well known) and amusingly is listed as W Road in google maps even though the street sign spells West out in full. Trying to get stuff delivered, especially if you didn't talk to a person, was ... interesting.
posted by Mitheral at 10:06 AM on August 31


I MUST BE AT THE NEXUS OF THE UNIVERSE

I wish I could figure out which town we were in but I've got a picture taken in a little US town while storm chasing in tornado ally demarcating the intersection of Main, East Main and West Main. I would have liked to been a fly on the wall when that decision was made. I can just see two businessmen (whose locations were on the present day Main and E/W Main respectively) coming to blows about which street was going to be called Main street (with all that implies) in this little town and the town surveyor just throwing up his hands and exclaiming "Fine! We'll have Main and East Main. Happy!?! Now get out of my office!"
posted by Mitheral at 10:18 AM on August 31


As I commented elsewhere, come to Arlington VA and try to figure out that mess.
posted by 922257033c4a0f3cecdbd819a46d626999d1af4a at 11:12 AM on August 31 [4 favorites]


Aw I wanted an infographic, not an Abbott & Costello routine.

Or a Letterman Top 10 list...
posted by Greg_Ace at 11:30 AM on August 31


The funny thing about Arlington is that the names were supposed to be a rationalization. But instead of using different names in the same pattern, they used the same sequence no matter how broken up the street was. And of course there weren't enough numbers so you got street, road, circle etc with the same number.
posted by tavella at 12:37 PM on August 31


The most common street names in Ann Arbor, or at least the most common ordinal street names, are Fourth and Fifth. The city originally had parallel systems of Streets and Avenues sharing the same First. Eventually most of the Avenues got upgraded to more interesting, non-numeric names, but Fourth and Fifth Avenues live on.

In Oakland, CA, Park is the undisputed champion. We have Park Blvd., Park Way, Park Blvd. Way (not to be confused with Boulevard Way), and Park Ln. The Parkway Theater is on Park Blvd. There is also a Lake Park Ave. and a Park View Terrace, and Park St. just across the channel in Alameda.
posted by aws17576 at 12:38 PM on August 31 [2 favorites]


We have a 43-1/2 Street. Beat that.
posted by octothorpe at 1:47 PM on August 31


Washington is the first-ranked street named after a person.
posted by doctornemo at 3:19 PM on August 31 [1 favorite]


And in Commonwealth countries I bet it's Victoria.
posted by Mitheral at 3:26 PM on August 31


When I would visit my dad’s hometown of West Hartford, CT as a kid, I would always be amused at the fact that there was a road simply named “Boulevard,” like they just decided to describe it rather than name it.
posted by DoctorFedora at 4:31 PM on August 31 [1 favorite]


you know i halfway thought that atlanta might have singlehandedly pushed "peachtree" into the top ten.

I literally drove from Peachtree Industrial Boulevard and North Peachtree Road to a restaurant on New Peachtree Road a couple days ago, via Peachtree Road.

We are also spectacularly bad at numbered streets here.

I’m reminded of how, in Philadelphia, the Quakers were too modest to name a street “Main Street” so instead it counts down “Third,” “Second,” “Front Street.”

I thought it was called Front Street because it was on the waterfront. (And the big north-south street is Broad Street anyway.)
posted by madcaptenor at 6:57 PM on August 31 [1 favorite]


Grand Junction, CO has F 1/2 and F 1/4 (as in, "Eff and a half" and "Eff and a quarter") Roads. The former intersects with 23 3/4 (as in, 23.75) Road. There is, as you would expect, a 23 1/2 Road, but also a 23 2/3 Road--which is, surprisingly, almost perfectly between 23 1/2 and 23 3/4.

As my dad said when I took him out that way on a road trip a while back, "what the fuck is wrong with these people?"
posted by notsnot at 6:58 PM on August 31 [17 favorites]


What's with all the streets just named Boulevard? Atlanta has one too. (Well, part of one. It has a different name in the white part of town, because that's a thing that happened here.)
posted by madcaptenor at 7:03 PM on August 31 [1 favorite]


We have a 43-1/2 Street. Beat that.

Austin has a 53 1/2 Street. You have been beaten by ten points.
posted by nebulawindphone at 7:31 PM on August 31 [3 favorites]


[hits ctrl-f queens, finds no results]

is this the place where we talk about the road naming conventions in queens

because omg the road naming conventions in queens. who was like "we can't decide between street lane and place so let's just use all three maybe?" who thought that was a good idea. who do we blame.
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 8:03 PM on August 31 [3 favorites]


I learned years ago in a cultural geography course that the most common intersection in the US was second and maple - because so many first streets were renamed front or main. So I am not surprised at this. I retained less than I should have from that class, but I sure as heck remembered that useless fact.
posted by caution live frogs at 8:28 PM on August 31 [3 favorites]


I should clarify that my source on Philadelphia Quakers being the source of “front street” was a tour guide on an open-top double-decker bus so the peer review process was not particularly fastidious

Also a deep crimson shame covers my face at my misspelling of Schuylkill.
posted by DoctorFedora at 9:18 PM on August 31


No one is actually sure how Schuylkill is really spelled. It's one of those mysteries science has yet to discover.
posted by biogeo at 10:01 PM on August 31 [3 favorites]


Officially, I live on N North Coolidge Ave. There is no S North Coolidge Ave, or just North Coolidge Ave, or even Coolidge Ave. N North Coolidge.
posted by Dokterrock at 11:22 PM on August 31 [2 favorites]


Fredericksburg in Texas has named its central streets to form a couple of acrostics. Travel SW along Main Street from the centre of town and you'll pass, in this order, streets named:

Adams
Llano
Lincoln
Washington
Elk
Lee
Columbus
Olive
Mesquite
Eagle.

Travel NE along Main Street from the same spot in the middle of town and it's:

Crockett
Orange
Milam
Edison
Bowie
Acorn
Cherry
Kay.
posted by Paul Slade at 3:19 AM on September 1 [10 favorites]


Austin has a 53 1/2 Street. You have been beaten by ten points.

Austin also has two First Streets. Now, to be fair, one of them has been renamed Cesar Chavez Street and the other is SOUTH First Street. But for a long time (and not that long ago, all things considered), you could tell someone to meet you at the corner of First and First.
posted by devinemissk at 8:16 AM on September 1 [1 favorite]


There are several streets in my town that are "XYZ street" and "old XYZ street", like dominion parkway and old dominion parkway, etc. But we also just have "Old Ocean View road", with no Ocean View Road.
posted by FirstMateKate at 3:12 PM on September 1


The ocean is very old
posted by aubilenon at 4:28 PM on September 1 [1 favorite]


There a bunch of street naming rules now to stop nonsense. Yea “This Street” or 23 2/3 is hilarious, but you need to be able to direct 911 to the right place when you call so it quickly becomes atrocious. Don’t get me started on B/Bea/Bee or the I/Eye/Aye chaos for street names.
posted by jmauro at 4:37 PM on September 1 [1 favorite]


No one is actually sure how Schuylkill is really spelled. It's one of those mysteries science has yet to discover.

I'm of the opinion we should all spell it Skoogle until they realize how silly it is and come up with something else
posted by nebulawindphone at 5:48 PM on September 1 [1 favorite]


As a Brit visiting New Orleans many years ago, I got lost in the French Quarter and started asking locals for directions to Chartres Street. Summoning up my best schoolboy French, I pronounced it "Shah-truh Street". This produced blank looks from the first few people I stopped, till finally someone realised what I was trying to say.

"Oh!" he said. "You mean Charters!"
posted by Paul Slade at 12:50 AM on September 2


> "Oh!" he said. "You mean Charters!"

wait till you hear how people in southeast michigan pronounce "gratiot."
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 10:40 AM on September 2


You'll stroke out when you hear Pennsylvanians pronounce "Versailles" or "Dubois".
posted by octothorpe at 10:48 AM on September 2 [1 favorite]


basically americans should all have their french placename licenses revoked
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 12:44 PM on September 2


Oh heck no, quite the contrary, we should be issued a few hundred more just so we can dick around with them
posted by nebulawindphone at 1:20 PM on September 2 [3 favorites]


And in Commonwealth countries I bet it's Victoria.

You'd be right, at least in England. It's just behind Queen and just ahead of King; the next name on the list is George.

The most common street names in England are Church, High, Station, Mill, Green and School.

An alien reading a world streetmap for the first time might surmise that English society is built on community, and American society on competition.
posted by Cardinal Fang at 5:56 AM on September 3


To be clear, I wasn't meaning to mock the people of New Orleans for their failed French pronunciation, but rather to mock myself for getting the city's chosen pronunciation so wrong.
posted by Paul Slade at 12:15 AM on September 4


(I had a similar experience moving to Austin, all proud of having a head start because I already spoke good solid Spanish, and finding to my puzzlement and delight that San Jacinto street isn't /saŋ xasinto/ but /sæn dʒəsɪnə/ or /sæn dʒæk/ for short.)
posted by nebulawindphone at 7:27 AM on September 5


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