News | 22 December 2021

Street Smart: Different types of streets explained

Can you tell your ara from your alley? What’s the difference between a glade and a grove?

A photo taken in the 1990s of a shop on Island Bay Parade with bags of walnuts in the window and a sign that reads
Island Bay Parade, 1991. Wellington City Libraries, 50014-411-278. Photograph by Derek Smith.

There are many different types of street names that Wellington City Council assigns, based on the characteristics of the street in question. 

Here’s a list of the definitions we use, from ‘alley’ to ‘way’ and everything in between. 

Alley
A narrow street or passage, usually enclosed. 

Ara
Te reo Māori for pathway/route.

Avenue
Wide straight roadway or street planted either side with trees. 

Boulevard
Once a promenade on a site of demolished fortifications; now applied to any wide street or broad main road. 

Circle
A street surrounding a circular or oval shaped space. 

Close
A short no
-exit street. 

Court
An enclosed, uncovered area opening off a street. 

Crescent
A crescent shaped street generally with both ends intersecting the same street. 

Drive
A main connecting route in a suburb. 

Esplanade
Level piece of ground especially one used for public promenade. 

Glade
A tree covered street or passage between streets. 

Grove
An alleyway cut out in a wood but not extensive. 

Lane
A narrow passage between hedges or buildings, an alley. 

Mews
A road traditionally rural residential area converted to a residential area. 

An aerial view of The Terrace and many multi-leveled houses in the 1990s.
Terraces are defined as streets along the face or top of a slope. Pictured is The Terrace in 1991. Wellington City Libraries, 50014-325-185. Photograph by Derek Smith.

Parade
A public promenade or roadway. 

Place
An open space in a town. 

Quay
Along the waterfront. 

Rise
A roadway going to a higher place of position. 

Road
Route or way between places (generally in a rural area). 

Square
A street surrounding a square or rectangular shaped space. 

Street
An urban road. 

Te Ara
Te reo Māori for pathway (route).

Terrace
A street along the face or top of a slope. 

Track
A narrow country street that may end in pedestrian access. 

View
Street with a view of significance. 

Way
Only to be used for private roads, right of ways etc.

A green background with a white ball on legs walking with

Wellington City Council looks after more than 700km of streets across the capital, and each one has its own unique story. Check out Our Wellington and our social media channels for more articles, videos and interesting snippets.