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Author Topic: “Driveway” and “Parkway” - Etymology?  (Read 452 times)

J3ebrules

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“Driveway” and “Parkway” - Etymology?
« on: May 23, 2020, 02:28:16 PM »

I’m sure everyone has heard the old “joke”, “Why do we drive on a parkway and park on a driveway” - it’s right up there with noses running and feet smelling.

But really, what is the etymology of these words?

My closest guess for “parkway” comes from my reading about developing beautiful tree-lined “ideal” boulevards (almost... like parks?) during the Good Roads movement - it was part of New Jersey’s initiative around when the Garden State Parkway was built - but there are parkways in NY that predate the GSP, and I haven’t yet read up on NY’s roads initiatives in the 10’s - 40’s.

And driveway? No earthly idea.

Does anyone have any solid knowledge about these words, or at least some well-developed theories?
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Re: “Driveway” and “Parkway” - Etymology?
« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2020, 04:34:51 PM »

I’m sure everyone has heard the old “joke”, “Why do we drive on a parkway and park on a driveway” - it’s right up there with noses running and feet smelling.

But really, what is the etymology of these words?

My closest guess for “parkway” comes from my reading about developing beautiful tree-lined “ideal” boulevards (almost... like parks?) during the Good Roads movement - it was part of New Jersey’s initiative around when the Garden State Parkway was built - but there are parkways in NY that predate the GSP, and I haven’t yet read up on NY’s roads initiatives in the 10’s - 40’s.

And driveway? No earthly idea.

Does anyone have any solid knowledge about these words, or at least some well-developed theories?
Driveways are the ways we put the things we drive on.
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1995hoo

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Re: “Driveway” and “Parkway” - Etymology?
« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2020, 04:58:43 PM »

The driveway is the way you drive into, and out of, the garage.
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Scott5114

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Re: “Driveway” and “Parkway” - Etymology?
« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2020, 05:46:41 PM »

I personally drive on my driveway far more than I park on it. Given how the climate here is favorable for thunderstorms that produce large hail, I keep my car in the garage as much as possible.

Also, I live on a corner lot, and my garage is on the side of my house. The driveway faces the busier of the two streets, while my house faces the quieter street. I'm not really comfortable leaving my car exposed to the General Public where I can't easily see it. Additionally, my car is large enough that it's hard to park in the driveway with the garage door closed so that I'm not blocking the (heavily-used) sidewalk, which would be inconsiderate. If I can't park in the garage for whatever reason, I park on the street out front of the house, not in the driveway.
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1995hoo

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Re: “Driveway” and “Parkway” - Etymology?
« Reply #5 on: May 25, 2020, 09:37:02 AM »

....

.... Additionally, my car is large enough that it's hard to park in the driveway with the garage door closed so that I'm not blocking the (heavily-used) sidewalk, which would be inconsiderate. ....

I wish people in our neighborhood understood this. I frequently find sidewalks blocked by people determined to put two cars in a driveway that can only accommodate one. Unfortunately, the local authorities have no interest in ticketing such people. The worst is when women pushing strollers have to walk in the street to go around sidewalk-blockers.
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"You know, you never have a guaranteed spot until you have a spot guaranteed."
—Olaf Kolzig, as quoted in the Washington Times on March 28, 2003,
commenting on the Capitals clinching a playoff spot.

"That sounded stupid, didn't it?"—Kolzig, to the same reporter a few seconds later.

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Re: “Driveway” and “Parkway” - Etymology?
« Reply #6 on: May 25, 2020, 11:25:13 AM »

Driveways that are too short for two cars are foreign here in this slice of suburbia.
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1995hoo

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Re: “Driveway” and “Parkway” - Etymology?
« Reply #7 on: May 25, 2020, 11:45:40 AM »

Note the BMW SUV. This sort of thing is very common in my neighborhood. Some people have no qualms about having a vehicle sticking out into the street.

https://goo.gl/maps/Gwbo2jvYX4x6B4hp8
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"You know, you never have a guaranteed spot until you have a spot guaranteed."
—Olaf Kolzig, as quoted in the Washington Times on March 28, 2003,
commenting on the Capitals clinching a playoff spot.

"That sounded stupid, didn't it?"—Kolzig, to the same reporter a few seconds later.

sprjus4

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Re: “Driveway” and “Parkway” - Etymology?
« Reply #8 on: May 25, 2020, 11:48:29 AM »

Note the BMW SUV. This sort of thing is very common in my neighborhood. Some people have no qualms about having a vehicle sticking out into the street.

https://goo.gl/maps/Gwbo2jvYX4x6B4hp8
I understand the sidewalk frustration, but looking at the other side, where else are they supposed to park? What if the garage is full with either another car or other stuff? What if they have a visitor? Street parking is prohibited. Just things to think about.

That seems like poor design to only have a one car driveway and to not allow street parking.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2020, 11:50:44 AM by sprjus4 »
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jp the roadgeek

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Re: “Driveway” and “Parkway” - Etymology?
« Reply #9 on: May 25, 2020, 02:32:10 PM »

Another question along the same lines: why are turnpikes generally straight :hmmm:
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Re: “Driveway” and “Parkway” - Etymology?
« Reply #10 on: May 25, 2020, 04:41:09 PM »

Another question along the same lines: why are turnpikes generally straight :hmmm:
Easier to build? Connects cities?
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Scott5114

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Re: “Driveway” and “Parkway” - Etymology?
« Reply #11 on: May 25, 2020, 04:57:44 PM »

Note the BMW SUV. This sort of thing is very common in my neighborhood. Some people have no qualms about having a vehicle sticking out into the street.

https://goo.gl/maps/Gwbo2jvYX4x6B4hp8
I understand the sidewalk frustration, but looking at the other side, where else are they supposed to park? What if the garage is full with either another car or other stuff?

Don't own so much stuff you can't park all your cars in the garage?

This isn't Animal Crossing; you don't get a bonus for packing your house full of shit.
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sprjus4

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Re: “Driveway” and “Parkway” - Etymology?
« Reply #12 on: May 25, 2020, 06:24:14 PM »

Note the BMW SUV. This sort of thing is very common in my neighborhood. Some people have no qualms about having a vehicle sticking out into the street.

https://goo.gl/maps/Gwbo2jvYX4x6B4hp8
I understand the sidewalk frustration, but looking at the other side, where else are they supposed to park? What if the garage is full with either another car or other stuff?

Don't own so much stuff you can't park all your cars in the garage?

This isn't Animal Crossing; you don't get a bonus for packing your house full of shit.
What if there’s a car in the garage, the one in the driveway, and then a visitor?
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1995hoo

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Re: “Driveway” and “Parkway” - Etymology?
« Reply #13 on: May 25, 2020, 06:26:05 PM »

Note the BMW SUV. This sort of thing is very common in my neighborhood. Some people have no qualms about having a vehicle sticking out into the street.

https://goo.gl/maps/Gwbo2jvYX4x6B4hp8
I understand the sidewalk frustration, but looking at the other side, where else are they supposed to park? What if the garage is full with either another car or other stuff? What if they have a visitor? Street parking is prohibited. Just things to think about.

That seems like poor design to only have a one car driveway and to not allow street parking.

Around the corner on the street that leads in and out of the neighborhood, same as everyone who parks legally. Pan the image to the right and click down to the end of the block. (Street View shows three of our four cars parked on the street.)
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"You know, you never have a guaranteed spot until you have a spot guaranteed."
—Olaf Kolzig, as quoted in the Washington Times on March 28, 2003,
commenting on the Capitals clinching a playoff spot.

"That sounded stupid, didn't it?"—Kolzig, to the same reporter a few seconds later.

Scott5114

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Re: “Driveway” and “Parkway” - Etymology?
« Reply #14 on: May 25, 2020, 06:32:44 PM »

Note the BMW SUV. This sort of thing is very common in my neighborhood. Some people have no qualms about having a vehicle sticking out into the street.

https://goo.gl/maps/Gwbo2jvYX4x6B4hp8
I understand the sidewalk frustration, but looking at the other side, where else are they supposed to park? What if the garage is full with either another car or other stuff?

Don't own so much stuff you can't park all your cars in the garage?

This isn't Animal Crossing; you don't get a bonus for packing your house full of shit.
What if there’s a car in the garage, the one in the driveway, and then a visitor?

Own fewer cars, don't have so many people over, or don't live in a building that wasn't designed for your need to have 3 cars at your house for whatever reason.

Why are we spending time trying to come up with reasons to let people off the hook for being a jerk, anyway? Sometimes people have what they think is a good reason for being a jerk. They're still a jerk.
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1995hoo

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Re: “Driveway” and “Parkway” - Etymology?
« Reply #15 on: May 25, 2020, 06:37:12 PM »

Note the BMW SUV. This sort of thing is very common in my neighborhood. Some people have no qualms about having a vehicle sticking out into the street.

https://goo.gl/maps/Gwbo2jvYX4x6B4hp8
I understand the sidewalk frustration, but looking at the other side, where else are they supposed to park? What if the garage is full with either another car or other stuff?

Don't own so much stuff you can't park all your cars in the garage?

This isn't Animal Crossing; you don't get a bonus for packing your house full of shit.
What if there’s a car in the garage, the one in the driveway, and then a visitor?

Own fewer cars, don't have so many people over, or don't live in a building that wasn't designed for your need to have 3 cars at your house for whatever reason.

Why are we spending time trying to come up with reasons to let people off the hook for being a jerk, anyway? Sometimes people have what they think is a good reason for being a jerk. They're still a jerk.

BTW, the street in that picture does have visitor spaces (four of them, I believe) back behind where the camera is in that image, but they’re often occupied by residents who consider them to be overflow spaces.
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"You know, you never have a guaranteed spot until you have a spot guaranteed."
—Olaf Kolzig, as quoted in the Washington Times on March 28, 2003,
commenting on the Capitals clinching a playoff spot.

"That sounded stupid, didn't it?"—Kolzig, to the same reporter a few seconds later.

webny99

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Re: “Driveway” and “Parkway” - Etymology?
« Reply #16 on: May 25, 2020, 11:16:22 PM »

Note the BMW SUV. This sort of thing is very common in my neighborhood. Some people have no qualms about having a vehicle sticking out into the street.
https://goo.gl/maps/Gwbo2jvYX4x6B4hp8
I understand the sidewalk frustration, but looking at the other side, where else are they supposed to park? What if the garage is full with either another car or other stuff?
Don't own so much stuff you can't park all your cars in the garage?
This isn't Animal Crossing; you don't get a bonus for packing your house full of shit.
What if there’s a car in the garage, the one in the driveway, and then a visitor?
Own fewer cars, don't have so many people over, or don't live in a building that wasn't designed for your need to have 3 cars at your house for whatever reason.
Why are we spending time trying to come up with reasons to let people off the hook for being a jerk, anyway? Sometimes people have what they think is a good reason for being a jerk. They're still a jerk.

I'm with sprjus on this one. I think the neighborhood planner was the jerk. Or, if that's too harsh, at the very least they had an incredible lack of forethought when planning this out, given today's car-centric lifestyle. It's impossible for any given resident to predict whether they may need to have 2 or more guests at any given time months or years into the future.

If I'm the second or third visitor, what am I supposed to do? I'm unfamiliar with the area, I don't know where to park, and now on top of it all, there's people walking down the street thinking I'm a jerk blocking the sidewalk. What's a guy to do? Park horizontally? Park in the grass?

I guess it would have been a nice bonus if my friend told me ahead of time to park around the corner or around the block, but my goodness, I didn't think this would be like finding parking in central Manhattan.
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sprjus4

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Re: “Driveway” and “Parkway” - Etymology?
« Reply #17 on: May 25, 2020, 11:25:28 PM »

BTW, the street in that picture does have visitor spaces (four of them, I believe) back behind where the camera is in that image, but they’re often occupied by residents who consider them to be overflow spaces.
Very courteous of the developer - https://www.google.com/maps/@38.7737487,-77.1405609,3a,75y,322.5h,76.37t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sLekEn6I2InWhgQX9poOd5Q!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

I guess the developer figured no more than 4 visitors at one given time in the neighborhood of at least 25 units...

I think the neighborhood planner was the jerk. Or, if that's too harsh, at the very least they had an incredible lack of forethought when planning this out, given today's car-centric lifestyle.
Probably just an attempt to cram as many units in as possible with little regard to parking accommodations. 1 car driveways, sometimes 2, no street parking, and only 4 visitor parking spots.

Own fewer cars, don't have so many people over, or don't live in a building that wasn't designed for your need to have 3 cars at your house for whatever reason.
Right... because these are things people think about when moving into a unit.

Park in the grass?
Might be a bit hard without encroaching the neighbors property or hitting a tree. Perhaps strategically angle?

https://www.google.com/maps/@38.7736386,-77.1410832,3a,75y,247.83h,74.41t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1smTtW-uE4GcePzWziNAB9cw!2e0!7i13312!8i6656
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Scott5114

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Re: “Driveway” and “Parkway” - Etymology?
« Reply #18 on: May 27, 2020, 02:43:51 AM »

BTW, the street in that picture does have visitor spaces (four of them, I believe) back behind where the camera is in that image, but they’re often occupied by residents who consider them to be overflow spaces.
Very courteous of the developer - https://www.google.com/maps/@38.7737487,-77.1405609,3a,75y,322.5h,76.37t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sLekEn6I2InWhgQX9poOd5Q!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

I guess the developer figured no more than 4 visitors at one given time in the neighborhood of at least 25 units...

I think the neighborhood planner was the jerk. Or, if that's too harsh, at the very least they had an incredible lack of forethought when planning this out, given today's car-centric lifestyle.
Probably just an attempt to cram as many units in as possible with little regard to parking accommodations. 1 car driveways, sometimes 2, no street parking, and only 4 visitor parking spots.

Own fewer cars, don't have so many people over, or don't live in a building that wasn't designed for your need to have 3 cars at your house for whatever reason.
Right... because these are things people think about when moving into a unit.

The thought that someone would not have the foresight to consider parking access when making a large decision like where to live is strange and baffling to me. When I was buying a house, I rejected several properties on the basis of inadequate parking, including several that had no garage at all because it had been converted to a den. Before that, when I was renting, the subject never came up because all of the properties I toured happened to have ample parking (three apartment complexes, two of which I actually moved into, and one suburban house, which I moved into as well).
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Re: “Driveway” and “Parkway” - Etymology?
« Reply #19 on: May 27, 2020, 02:13:51 PM »


.... Additionally, my car is large enough that it's hard to park in the driveway with the garage door closed so that I'm not blocking the (heavily-used) sidewalk, which would be inconsiderate. ....

Unfortunately, the local authorities have no interest in ticketing such people. The worst is when women pushing strollers have to walk in the street to go around sidewalk-blockers.

I've decided that, if the police don't feel the need to ticket people who park blocking a sidewalk, then they'd better not feel the need to ticket me for walking in the street.
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