Travelers, amateur historians, car buffs, and other curious observers are all drawn to the world’s strangest and most unique streets. From their technically challenging features to the intriguing scenery they provide, the lure of these exceptional roadways can be hard to resist. Whether you take a trip along one of the world’s most captivating thoroughfares or enjoy them from afar, distinctive roads are worth a closer look.
Some unique streets stand out for strange features or unusual history. Others present driving challenges, turning each passage into an adventure. Another set of roads and streets cuts through scenic environments, exposing drivers to natural wonders. Whichever features make each one unique, you can be sure these awesome streets are memorable, including the following sampling of strange streets.
Several noted streets stand out for being steep. New Zealand’s Baldwin Street is near the top of the list of the world’s steepest roadways accessed by vehicles. Constructed on a staggering grade of thirty-five percent, the unusual street stretches more than 1000 feet, and is lined with tilted houses.
Maeklong Railway Market
Serving as a bustling market is a secondary function of this strange thoroughfare. The passageway not only accommodates shoppers, but a railway also extends down the middle the street. As a train approaches, sounding its warning horn, vendors and pedestrians scramble out of its path. After the railcars move through, the street scene resumes atop the tracks.
Judge Harry Pregerson Interchange
This complex interchange is located outside Los Angeles. The complicated system of on- and off-ramps services interstates 105 and 110 in all directions, rising above neighborhoods below. The four layer interchange is stacked to accommodate high traffic volumes on both highways, including restricted access lanes reserved for buses and other high capacity vehicles.
England’s Seven Circle Magic Roundabout
Traditional roundabouts are enough to panic some drivers, but Swindon, England’s roundabout takes the concept to a new level. Arranged in an interconnected series of circles, the bizarre layout gives drivers multiple paths to the same destinations. Drivers navigate five small roundabouts, which form a circle around a central point. Providing multiple options for drivers to select from increases efficiency, routing cars more directly than a single circle can. The most remarkable aspect of the interchange, opened in 1972, is an inner counterclockwise traffic lane, moving against the clockwise flow of the other circles.
This fifty-two mile road is found on Maui, the second largest Hawaiian island. Full of hairpin turns and narrow, single lane passages, the road also passes over more than fifty bridges. The challenging hillside thoroughfare switches back hundreds of times, presenting dangers such as steep drop-offs and falling rocks.
This famous San Francisco street winds back and forth, enabling drivers to safely navigate an otherwise unmanageable incline. Although it’s an east-west thoroughfare, Lombard Street’s most recognizable stretch snakes down the residential hillside in all directions, including eight hairpin turns.
Crooked, complicated or downright dangerous, these dramatic roadways have more to offer than typical streets. Unleash your curiosity and sense of adventure to appreciate these awesome roads.