driveway n : a road leading up to a private house; "they parked in the driveway" [syn: drive, private road]
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 do not usually have traffic lights. However, at a few driveways to commercial businesses and parks in which there is more traffic than a "Private Drive", there is an exception.
Driveways can be decorative in ways that public roads can not, due to their lighter traffic or the willingness of an owner to invest in their construction. Driveways are not resurfaced, snow blown or otherwise kept up by governmental bodies. They are often designed to conform to the architecture of the connected home or other building.
Materials used for driveways include concrete, decorative brick, cobblestone, asphalt, decomposed granite, and various materials in alternation with grass or other ground cover plants.
Driveways are commonly used as a path to a garage or house. Or, in the case of large estates, a driveway may be the road that leads to the house from the public road, possibly with a gate in between. There are examples of one driveway that splits to service two or more garages maintained by different owners. Driveway can also refer to a small apron of hardscape in front of a garage and including a curb cut sidewalk, sometimes too short to fit a parked auto.
Often, by choice or by local regulation, cars are parked in longer driveways to leave streets clear for traffic. For example, the city of Pasadena, California forbids parking on residential streets from 2 am to 6 am, which results in deeper driveways having been built and remaining usable. Residential driveways are also frequently used by their owners for such things as a garage sales, auto washing and repair, and for recreation, most notably in North America for basketball shooting practice.
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