I spend a lot of time thinking about street names, so much so that even the mundane ones can pique my interest or make me laugh. They serve a very important purpose, of course, but I regularly find myself wondering how each one came to be. It was during these ruminations that today’s question was born: What is America’s worst street name?
“Worst,” in this case, is totally subjective. It can mean silly, or suggestive, or just plain dumb — I’m not picky. What excites me about this question is that there are so many roads in this country, and every one of you is probably going to have a different yet equally delightful answer. I mean, I’m sure a few commenters will magically land on the same ones, and that’ll be a cool moment. I look forward to it.
I’ll throw two out there: When this came up in Slack just now, my colleagues Norman and José brought up Alameda de las Pulgas in California, connecting San Mateo and Menlo Park. I’d never heard of this one before, but apparently it translates to “avenue of fleas” in English.
As for my pick, I have to go local. There’s a mostly straight route in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, called Street Road, which I find stupidly amusing. The weird part is, no one in the Keystone State seems to care. I’m not originally from Pennsylvania, so when I learned of Street Road’s existence a few years back, I couldn’t help but comment on its redundancy to everyone I met. I’m pretty sure they all thought I was nuts.
Wikipedia suggests it was named that because in the 1800s and early 1900s, “street” typically conveyed a paved road, rather than acting as a synonym for road, which is sort of how it’s used today. I surmise that this quality made it unique among all the neighboring roads at the time. I still think it’s hilarious.