CLOSE
Original image
iStock

15 of the Weirdest Street Names Across the U.S.

Original image
iStock

There are some towns around the country where you can take a physical trip down Memory Lane, pay a visit to Sesame Street, hang out on Easy Street, or giggle at Butt Road. Here are a few other wacky, weird street names that have made it onto the map in various cities:

1. Tupac Lane

A Las Vegas subdivision features a street named for Tupac—though which Tupac is unclear. It was developed in 1990, when Tupac Shakur was still a backup dancer. Other notable Tupacs include several Inca rulers and a former state senator from Michigan. 

2. Frying Pan Road

The D.C. suburb of Herndon, Virginia has featured a community named Frying Pan since at least the 1700s. In the 1890s, the community changed its name to Floris, but the road remains. 

3. This, That, and The Other Streets

Street namers near Porters Lake in Nova Scotia apparently ran out of ideas, because three connecting streets are called “This Street,” “That Street,” and “The Other Street.” Hopefully no one has to give too many directions around there. 

4. Roast Meat Hill Road

Killingworth, Connecticut pays tribute to a warm dinner—or burning livestock. No one's really sure. 

5. 100 Year Party Court

Who wouldn’t want to buy a house on this street in Longmont, Colorado? The neighborhood is full of whimsical roads, including Half Measures Drive, Confidence Drive, and Tempted Ways Drive. 

6. Zzyzx Road

This road in California’s Mojave Desert shares a name with the town it leads to, as well as a genus of sand wasp. Several songs and a few movies have been named after the area. Zyzzyx Road, a thriller starring Katherine Heigl, made just $30 at the box office. 

7. Chicken Dinner Road 

The origin of this Idaho road’s name lies with a resident who lobbied the governor (who was a friend) to improve the road outside her house. Laura Lamb was known for her chicken, and now no one can drive down the street without being reminded of dinner. 

8. Error Place

On a map, this tiny route in Cincinnati looks like someone began to make a cross street connecting two avenues then decided better of it and gave up. It’s actually a staircase going up a hill. 

9. Bad Route Road

Taking a trip down this residential Montana street may not be as bad of an idea as it sounds. It’s likely named after Bad Route Creek, an offshoot of the Yellowstone River. 

10. Duh Drive

Several graduate student apartment buildings at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania are located on Duh Drive. Because living there’s a no-brainer. 

11. Puddin' Ridge Road

Residents of Moyock, North Carolina might have named this street for how muddy it became after a rain. Trying to traverse the thoroughfare before it was paved could be like wading through pudding, according to local legend.

12. Anyhow Lane

This tree-lined residential street in Gansevoort, New York is just like, whatever. 

13. Linger Longer Road

It sounds like either Southern hospitality or a threat to drivers with a bad sense of direction, but Linger Longer is the informal nickname of the Reynolds Plantation resort in Greensboro, Georgia.

14. Chicken Gristle Road

Granbury, Texas knows how to make a location sound enticing. Chicken Gristle Road is a short detour off Power Plant Court. 

15. Pillow Talk Court

There are a lot of secrets being shared on this little dead-end in the Las Vegas suburbs, no doubt. 

Additional Sources: Freak Streets

Original image
iStock
arrow
travel
National Geographic Ranks The 25 Happiest Cities in the Country
Original image
iStock

Feeling unhappy? Maybe it's time to move. National Geographic recently released rankings of the 25 happiest cities in the U.S. The results: Eight of the 25 locations are in the Golden State, but the honor of No. 1 happiest city goes to Boulder, Colorado.

The rankings are based on 250,000 interviews conducted in 190 metropolitan areas between 2014 and 2015. The survey—developed by Dan Buettner, author of the new book The Blue Zones of Happiness, and Dan Witters, a senior scientist at Gallup—looked for data points that are correlated with life satisfaction and happiness, like whether or not you exercise, if you feel safe in your community, whether you feel like you live within your means, and whether you feel like you are reaching your goals.

A map of the U.S. showing which cities made the top 25 happiest cities index.
Courtesy National Geographic

Of course, all that isn’t necessarily the result of your geographical location. But you don’t see cities like Los Angeles or New York—where wealth is also clustered—on the list, so presumably San Franciscans are doing something a little differently.

Take a look for yourself. Here are the 25 happiest places in the U.S., according to the results.

1. Boulder, Colorado
2. Santa Cruz-Watsonville, California
3. Charlottesville, Virginia
4. Fort Collins, Colorado
5. San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles-Arroyo Grande, California
6. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, California
7. Provo-Orem, Utah
8. Bridgeport-Stamford, Connecticut
9. Barnstable Town, Massachusetts
10. Anchorage, Alaska
11. Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island, Florida
12. Santa Maria-Santa Barbara, California
13. Salinas, California
14. North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton, Florida
15. Urban Honolulu, Hawaii
16. Ann Arbor, Michigan
17. San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, California
18. Colorado Springs, Colorado
19. Manchester-Nashua, New Hampshire
20. Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, California
21. Washington, D.C.-Arlington-Alexandria, Virginia/Maryland/West Virginia
22. Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, Minnesota/Wisconsin
23. San Diego-Carlsbad, California
24. Portland-South Portland, Maine
25. Austin-Round Rock, Texas

You can grab a copy of November’s National Geographic to read more about the world’s happiest places.

The cover of Dan Buettner’s The Blue Zones of Happiness and the cover of November 2017’s National Geographic.
National Geographic
Original image
Courtesy Umbrellium
arrow
Design
These LED Crosswalks Adapt to Whoever Is Crossing
Original image
Courtesy Umbrellium

Crosswalks are an often-neglected part of urban design; they’re usually just white stripes on dark asphalt. But recently, they’re getting more exciting—and safer—makeovers. In the Netherlands, there is a glow-in-the-dark crosswalk. In western India, there is a 3D crosswalk. And now, in London, there’s an interactive LED crosswalk that changes its configuration based on the situation, as Fast Company reports.

Created by the London-based design studio Umbrellium, the Starling Crossing (short for the much more tongue-twisting STigmergic Adaptive Responsive LearnING Crossing) changes its layout, size, configuration, and other design factors based on who’s waiting to cross and where they’re going.

“The Starling Crossing is a pedestrian crossing, built on today’s technology, that puts people first, enabling them to cross safely the way they want to cross, rather than one that tells them they can only cross in one place or a fixed way,” the company writes. That means that the system—which relies on cameras and artificial intelligence to monitor both pedestrian and vehicle traffic—adapts based on road conditions and where it thinks a pedestrian is going to go.

Starling Crossing - overview from Umbrellium on Vimeo.

If a bike is coming down the street, for example, it will project a place for the cyclist to wait for the light in the crosswalk. If the person is veering left like they’re going to cross diagonally, it will move the light-up crosswalk that way. During rush hour, when there are more pedestrians trying to get across the street, it will widen to accommodate them. It can also detect wet or dark conditions, making the crosswalk path wider to give pedestrians more of a buffer zone. Though the neural network can calculate people’s trajectories and velocity, it can also trigger a pattern of warning lights to alert people that they’re about to walk right into an oncoming bike or other unexpected hazard.

All this is to say that the system adapts to the reality of the road and traffic patterns, rather than forcing pedestrians to stay within the confines of a crosswalk system that was designed for car traffic.

The prototype is currently installed on a TV studio set in London, not a real road, and it still has plenty of safety testing to go through before it will appear on a road near you. But hopefully this is the kind of road infrastructure we’ll soon be able to see out in the real world.

[h/t Fast Company]

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios