Street

Typical service street ("mews") in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in London. Mews are typically found at the back of older housing terraces (rows of townhouses) in the UK, with a more elegant street in front of the terrace.
Street in downtown Bucharest (Romania)

A street is a 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 tarmac, 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 informally 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.[1] 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.[2][3]

Etymology

A city-centre street in Bucharest, Romania
The Porta Rosa was the main street of Elea, connecting the northern quarter with the southern quarter. The street is 5 meters wide and has an incline of 18 % in the steepest part. It is paved with limestone blocks, girders cut in square blocks, and on one side a small gutter for the drainage of rain water. The building is dated during the time of the reorganization of the city during the Hellenistic age (4th–3rd centuries BC)

The word street has its origins in the Latin strata (meaning "paved road" - abbreviation from via strata[4]); it is thus related to stratum and stratification. The first recorded use of word stratæ referring to the road has been made by the Eutropius.[5] Ancient Greek stratos means army: Greeks originally built roads to move their armies. Old English applied the word to Roman roads in Britain such as Ermine Street, Watling Street, etc. Later it acquired a dialectical meaning of "straggling village", which were often laid out on the verges of Roman roads and these settlements often became named Stretton. In the Middle Ages, a road was a way people travelled, with street applied specifically to paved ways.[6]