What do you call a road that parallels a main road and is primarily used for parking?

This would be like a frontage road for main roads instead of highways. Plus it is mainly used for parking.

If you are familiar with Chicago, this word would describe the roads on both sides of Martin Luther King Drive. See the picture for reference.

MLK Dr. with side roads marked in red

The side roads in question are marked in red in the image above.

  • 1
    In most of the US this would be a frontage road.
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Jan 27, 2019 at 2:49
  • 1
    They probably weren't originally used for parking, when these roads were built. Commented Jan 27, 2019 at 2:50
  • @Hot Licks I've called them access roads, but they're synonymous. Commented Jan 27, 2019 at 2:54
  • 1
    @TaliesinMerlin I believe which name you give those is one of those classic regional distinctions, like how the grass strip between the sidewalk and the road is called the terrace where I come from in the land of bubblers and gym shoes. Even when it’s just a frontage road. :)
    – tchrist
    Commented Jan 27, 2019 at 3:50
  • I would call those side roads "side roads"..
    – J. Taylor
    Commented Jan 27, 2019 at 4:03

1 Answer 1


In BrE they are called:

Service road:

a relatively narrow road running parallel to a main road and providing access to houses, shops, offices, factories, etc, situated along its length.

(Collins Dictionary)

The term, apparently is used also in AmE as an alternative to frontage road as suggested by M-W:

Service road:

frontage road:

The mother’s car had stalled on a service road in Fort Worth when it was pushed by waves of water from other vehicles, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported. - Bradford Betz, Fox News, "Flash flood sweeps car into culvert, killing mother, 2-year-old daughter," 9 Sep. 2018

Police said protesters began to block lanes of a service road. — Fox News, "Thousands rally nationwide for illegal immigrant families separated at border," 2 Oct. 2018

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