Getcher Motor Runnin'

Local public radio told me today that "most crashes occur on two-lane roads, not highways."

Maybe I don't know what a highway is. In my mind, a highway is a two-lane road.

This is actually something that I've historically gotten confused. As I look up definitions, I find that there's not a ton of consensus, and some of the definitions depend on where you're from.

I've always gone with:

Freeway: uses on- and off-ramps. So the traffic flow is, like, free.
Expressway: same as a freeway, but bigger, and, maybe faster.
Highway: can be multiple lanes, can be limited-access, but can also be two-lane country roads. Two-lane country road is usually what I think of when I hear "highway". As in: "I grew up in a small town with a blinker light off Highway 46."
Parkway: no idea what this is.

As I did a little (very little) research, I found that many stories stating the "most crashes on two-lane roads" fact specify undivided two-lane roads, like the ones I'm thinking of. I guess the story I heard needed to specify this.

Maybe "highway" is too generic. How about a new word? Maybe just call the divided highways "high ways". You know, divided.

No, that's stupid. "Divideways"? Gack.

Never mind.


King Alfred said...

In Brooklyn, NY, where I grew up, there is the very large Prospect Park, designed by the same people who had earlier done Central Park in Manhattan. The street that hugs all along the eastern side of Prospect Park was called Eastern Park Way, today, Eastern Parkway. By analogy, other streets are called "_____ Parkway" even though they're not associated with parks. Gotta love analogy. :-)

Alison Jameson said...

This is a very timely post, as I just had a lengthy series of discussions with my 5-y-o on the topic of "what is a highway?" We drove from PA to OH, mostly on divided highways, with her asking repeatedly "is THIS a highway?" and "are we still on a road?" It got old fast.

Eric "Babe" Morse said...

Thanks, King Alfred. Interesting. Cool moniker.

Dr. J: Yes. The five-year-old and I could have kept that going for awhile, I think. Yeah, and freeway... is anybody ever truly free? And have you heard what King Al said about parkways? And what's a henway? About five pounds!

Sarah said...

Hi! I live in Kentucky, and we have several parkways. All the parkways used to be toll roads, but now only two are pay roads. Parkways here are defined as limited-access state highways.