If you’ve ever wondered why some roads are called “streets,” while others are known as “drive” or “avenues,” it turns out there’s actually some meaning behind those names.
Road (Rd.): Can be anything that connects two points. The most basic of the naming conventions.
Way: A small side street off a road.
Street (St.): A public way that has buildings on both sides of it. They run perpendicular to avenues.
Avenue (Ave.): Also a public way that has buildings or trees on either side of it. They run perpendicular to streets.
Boulevard (Blvd.): A very wide city street that has trees and vegetation on both sides of it. There’s also usually a median in the middle of boulevards.
Lane (Ln.): A narrow road often found in a rural area. Basically, the opposite of a boulevard.
Drive (Dr.): A long, winding road that has its route shaped by its environment, like a nearby lake or mountain.
Terrace (Ter.): A street that follows the top of a slope.
Place (Pl.): A road or street that has no throughway—or leads to a dead end.
Court (Ct.): A road or street that ends in a circle or loop.
Of course, these are more guidelines than hard-and-fast rules, and not every city in the world follows these naming conventions exactly. Also, they tend not to be as strict with these in suburbs and newer areas: sometimes a street is called a “lane” simply because an urban planner or developer might think it sounds nice.