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The Residential Street – Parts I, II, & III

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Most everyone is familiar with the basic classification of roads and streets into several different categories. These major divisions include the arterial street, the collector street, and the local street. While a great deal of attention has been given to the design and functions of arterials and collectors, the local (or residential) street has also begun to receive greater attention.

The evolution of public perception as to what constitute the most desirable characteristics of a residential street has undergone many fascinating changes. Residential streets in the early part of the century were characterized by relatively narrow widths, sidewalks, and shallow front yards, often with porches dominating the front elevation of the house. They typically occurred in a grid pattern.

With the advent of the modern subdivision, the character of residential streets began to change substantially. Streets became wider to better accommodate traffic, houses were set back further, sidewalks often disappeared completely, and the front door became less of an activity area. ...

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