I think this is a common enough scenario in the US.

Imagine an intersection of a North/South road and an East/West road.

On the East side of the N/S road the E/W road is named something like 13th St. On the West side of the N/S road the E/W road is named something like University Ave.

Perhaps more common is the simple change of something like East Main St. to West Main St., but I'm not sure that's considered the same, or if there's a different term for that.

Does a term or phrase exist to describe this type of intersection that seems to define the cut-off points for different legal names for a continuous stretch of road?

Here's an excerpt from Wikipedia on street names, which talks about this:

Where a street crosses or forms (straddles) a boundary, its two sides sometimes have different names. Examples include Seton Avenue (Bronx) / Mundy Lane (Mount Vernon, New York); Station Road (Portslade) / Boundary Road (Hove, East Sussex); Lackman Road (Lenexa) / Black Bob Road (Olathe, Kansas); Nieuwstraat (Kerkrade, Netherlands) / Neustraße (Herzogenrath, Germany), both names meaning 'New Street'.

But it also lacks a term or concise phrase for this convention.

  • For what it’s worth, GPS navigation systems usually describe this like “In 500 feet, 13th Street becomes University Avenue”. – Jon Purdy Sep 9 '15 at 21:31
  • @JonPurdy Yeah, but I wonder if there's some more obscure term, possibly civil engineering jargon, for it. – user116680 Sep 9 '15 at 21:33
  • I just call it "obnoxious." – altaltpow Sep 9 '15 at 22:16
  • @altaltpow I have a feeling it generally happens when two previously separate roads are made to connect, such as when different townships or neighborhoods finally "connect" as a place expands. Although the "N. Main" "S. Main" stuff is pretty standard to start from. – user116680 Sep 10 '15 at 2:34

I think that junction can be used to refer to to the point where two roads meet:

  • A place where two things join or meet, especially a place where two roads or railway routes come together and one terminates.


| improve this answer | |
  • I think AHDEL express this poorly for once. I'm pretty sure they envisage a three-node at least for the road / railway layouts. Thus for these, 'junction' describes the topology rather than the naming protocol. The roads OP suggests have many junctions. – Edwin Ashworth Sep 9 '15 at 22:50
  • @EdwinAshworth I like the choice of word but I think the best definition as used here is: the state of being joined. For example: "Intersection or not, this junction is where John St becomes Smith St." – candied_orange Sep 10 '15 at 4:47
  • @CandiedOrange Not even your example is picked up on a Google search. Choosing a definition that might seem to fit is unwise if few people use it that way in the context specified. Look at the Wikipedia definition for 'road junction': A road junction is a location where multiple roads intersect, allowing vehicular traffic to change from one road to another. Collins wisely narrows to '1. a place where several routes, lines, or roads meet, link, or cross each other: ' – Edwin Ashworth Sep 10 '15 at 12:17
  • While this another term for intersections, general usage of junction isn't to refer to where one road becomes another, or the act of one road becoming another. – user116680 Sep 19 '15 at 3:58

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy