Driveway to a farm
Driveway apron and sloped curb to a public street, all under construction

A driveway is a type of private road for local access to one or a small group of structures, and is owned and maintained by an individual or group.

Driveways rarely have traffic lights, but some that bear heavy traffic, especially those leading to commercial businesses and parks, do.

Driveways may be decorative in ways that public roads cannot, because of their lighter traffic and the willingness of owners to invest in their construction. Driveways are not resurfaced, snow blown or otherwise maintained by governments. They are generally designed to conform to the architecture of connected houses or other buildings.

Materials used for driveways include concrete, decorative brick, cobblestone, asphalt, and decomposed granite, surrounded with grass or other ground-cover plants.

Driveways are commonly used as paths to private garages, carports, or houses. On large estates, a driveway may be the road that leads to the house from the public road, possibly with a gate in between. Some driveways divide to serve different homeowners. A driveway may also refer to a small apron of pavement in front of a garage with a curb cut in the sidewalk, sometimes too short to accommodate a car.

Often, either by choice or to conform with local regulations, cars are parked in driveways in order to leave streets clear for traffic. Moreover, some jurisdictions prohibit parking or leave standing any motor vehicle upon any residential lawn area (defined as the property from the front of a residential house, condominium, or cooperative to the street line other than a driveway, walkway, concrete or blacktopped surface parking space).[1] Other examples, include the city of Berkeley, California that forbids "any person to park or leave standing, or cause to be parked or left standing any vehicle upon any public street in the City for seventy-two or more consecutive hours."[2] Other areas may prohibit leaving vehicles on residential streets from 2 am to 6 am, necessitating the use of driveways.[3]

Residential driveways are also used for such things as garage sales, automobile washing and repair, and recreation, notably (in North America) for basketball practice.

Another form of drive is a 'Run-Up'. A short piece of land used usually at the front of the property to park a vehicle on. Run-ups are made from a number of different materials including brick paving, concrete and gravel.

See also


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Driveway — Drive way , n. A passage or way along or through which a carriage may be driven. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • driveway — index causeway Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • driveway — (n.) 1884 in sense private road from a public road to a private house, from DRIVE (Cf. drive) (v.) + WAY (Cf. way) …   Etymology dictionary

  • driveway — ☆ driveway [drīv′wā΄ ] n. a private way or road for cars, leading from a street or road to a garage, house, etc …   English World dictionary

  • driveway — noun ⇨ See also ↑drive ADJECTIVE ▪ winding ▪ concrete, dirt (AmE), gravel ▪ circular (esp. AmE) ▪ large …   Collocations dictionary

  • driveway — n. (esp. AE; BE prefers drive) 1) to pave, surface a driveway 2) a driveway between (a driveway between two houses) * * * [ draɪvweɪ] surface a driveway (esp. AE; BE prefers drive) to pave a driveway between (a driveway between two houses) …   Combinatory dictionary

  • driveway — UK [ˈdraɪvˌweɪ] / US noun [countable] Word forms driveway : singular driveway plural driveways mainly American a drive in front of someone s house …   English dictionary

  • driveway — [[t]dra͟ɪvweɪ[/t]] driveways N COUNT A driveway is a piece of hard ground that leads from the road to the front of a house or other building. Syn: drive …   English dictionary

  • driveway — noun Date: 1871 a private road giving access from a public way to a building on abutting grounds …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • driveway — /druyv way /, n. 1. a road, esp. a private one, leading from a street or other thoroughfare to a building, house, garage, etc. 2. any road for driving on. [1865 70, Amer.; DRIVE + WAY] * * * …   Universalium

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