I never really thought about the literal meaning of the word “main” in this title until recently. I had always assumed that the main street was the major street that runs through a town/city/province/district, etc. 

Webster’s Dictionary defines main as “the chief part, or essential point” so I thought I had it correct. 

However, an insurance company’s advertisement on television advised me of the fact that Park Street is actually the most popular street name in America.

 My first question is regarding the most popular versus the most common. I know that it is semantics, but when I started digging into their claim, I found that I was correct to assume nothing; you know that line. 

It didn’t ring true to me when I heard it on the boob-tube and I started thinking about all of the street names that I have encountered in my earthly travels. So of course I had to dig into that claim, it was sounding a little bit like fake news to me.

When I asked my phone, Google verified the insurance company’s claim with a Washington Post article that said, “Out of over a million roads in the United States, 9,640 are named Park. Only 8,232 are named “2nd,” or “Second.”

OK. Perfect. Game over. Right? Not so fast Freddy; don’t you wanna double check that data? So I did. 

Using my work computer with Internet Explorer, Bing told me quite a different story. Bing found a shareranks.com list that didn’t have Park until number 15. Washington, Main, and Maple were the top three on this compilation.

Wait, what? Let’s ask somebody else. 

Funtrivia.com claims “The most common street name in the United States isn’t Main Street - it’s actually Second Street! The second most popular street name is Park Street, followed by 3rd, 4th, and 5th Streets. First Street doesn’t even make the top five, it’s number six. The second most popular non-numerical street name is Washington Street, which is #9 overall.”

OK, I’m confused. 

What does the U.S government say about it?

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Second Street is first with 10,866, Third Street has 10,131 hits, and First is the new third with 9,898 roads in the United States. Park is fifth with 8,926 in this version.

According to an article from FiveThirtyEight, Second Street is the most common street name in Canada as well. 

High Street, Station Road, and Main Street are the top three in the UK according to quora.com.

Road names can also be pieces of history. They encode the culture and geography of America. Popular street names in Arizona are Apache, Palo Verde, and Mesquite. 

In New Mexico, Cedar and Pinon top the list, while in Colorado it is Aspen and Spruce. Magnolia and Dogwood are popular in the South, while Maple is popular in the North. Oklahoma and Arkansas are Oak states.

First Street rules in Nevada, Park is king in California, Oregon prefers Second Street, and Washington is weird with Third Street according to one list that I found. 

My theory on why Main Street isn’t number one is illustrated perfectly by Winnemucca Boulevard. So many places I have been use another term for the “Main Street” of the town, as we do here. That also explains why First Street is less common than Second Street, if you can believe any of the sources I have quoted. 

I know that things change, and stuff happens, but statistics are numbers. It seems to me that this data should have been easy to calculate by all of the parties involved, and the results should have been at least close?

I kinda like Winnemucca Boulevard, it has a nice ring to it.