What is the longest street in Chicago

These are the most extreme roads in the world

In the most boring case, they connect place A with place B. But there are some outliers, each of which holds a record in their category. We're talking about the most extreme roads in the world.

Judge Harry Pregerson Interchange links two freeways in Los Angeles.

Photo: panthermedia.net/ melpomen

While vehicles are constantly breaking various records and attracting a great deal of attention, relatively little attention is paid to the asphalt on which they move. But roads can also be extremely exciting.

Many traffic routes around the world have special properties or interesting peculiarities. It doesn't matter whether it's the shortest, the narrowest or the most famous street in the world, one of these records has even been defended by a street in a German city for years. We researched the most extreme roads in the world.

The shortest street in the world: Ebenezer Place (Wick, Scotland)

The small port town of Wick is located on the northeastern Scottish coast. According to the Guinness Book of Records, there is also the shortest street in the world. With a length of only 2.06 meters, Ebenezer Place on the narrowest side of the Mackays Hotel connects River Street with Union Street.

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Only the entrance to the No 1 bistro at number 1 can be found on the shortest street in the world. This was created and registered as early as 1883, but only achieved the record in 2006. Previously, Elgin Street in Bacup (England), also located in the United Kingdom, defended the title with a length of 5.18 meters.

The longest street in the world: Carretera Panamericana (Alaska to Argentina)

With a spectacular length of around 30,000 kilometers, the legendary Carretera Panamericana is the longest street in the world. It connects Alaska with the southern end of Argentina and crosses many climate and time zones. Strictly speaking, the Panamericana is not a single road, but rather a network of several expressways that run through 14 to 19 countries.

The unofficially longest road in the world also leads through the Atacama Desert.

Photo: panthermedia.net/sephirot17

Historically, the route officially begins at the border town of Laredo in Texas (USA) and leads to Mexico City (Mexico). But as early as the mid-1920s, the idea of ​​connecting all of America with the Panamericana ripened. At the end of 1936, the Panamericana Convention was finally signed by all participating states. Except for a few small interruptions, the route is now almost entirely accessible. The largest gap is on a 90 km stretch between Panama and northwestern Colombia. Various political and ecological reasons speak against an expansion of the section.

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According to the Guinness Book of Records, however, the longest street in the world is Yonge Street in Canada. With a length of 1,896 kilometers, it begins on the shores of Lake Ontario in the Canadian capital Toronto and leads first north and then west to Thunder Bay on the uppermost part of the lake.

The longest motorway in a country is Highway 1 in Australia, at around 13,600 kilometers.

The widest street in the world: Eixo Monumental (Brasilia, Brazil)

The twelve-lane Eixo Monumental was opened to traffic on April 21, 1960. With a width of 250 meters, it is the widest street in the world. It was part of the overall urban planning concept of the Brazilian capital Brasilia and replaces the 80 m wide former record holder, the Avenida Presidente Vargas, from Rio de Janeiro. The Eixo Monumental is the city's most important east-west axis and is over 8 kilometers long. Together with the Exio Rodoviáro Brasilia, it divides the city into four quarters. In addition, the road divides the northern and southern wings, the Asa Norte and the Asa Sul. It is even used to determine new addresses in Brazil.

The narrowest street in the world: Spreuerhofstrasse (Reutlingen, Germany)

Spreuerhofstrasse in Reutlingen is the narrowest street in the world at around 31 centimeters. The street is only 50 m long and at its northern end forks around three houses built together. The average width of Spreuerhofstrasse is around 40 cm.

The alley was created after a city fire around 1726, in which around 80% of Reutlingen's houses were destroyed. Today Spreuerhofstrasse is a popular visitor magnet in Reutlingen. In 2013 the city bought the adjoining dilapidated house and immediately began renovating the building to ensure the preservation of the small alley.

The oldest street in the world: Via Appia (Rome, Italy)

Construction of the Via Appia, now known as State Road 7 (SS 7), began in Rome around 312 BC. As an important part of the Italian trunk road network, it runs over a length of around 540 kilometers from the Italian capital to the port city of Brindisi. Even today, parts of the ancient pavement of the route built by Consul Appius Claudius Caecus can often still be seen. In Rome, the first miles of the road (Via Appia Antica) are considered an archaeological attraction and a popular recreational area. The road and the surrounding area have been declared a regional park and are therefore protected from further structural threats.

The Via Appia in Rome is the oldest street in the world.

Photo: panthermedia.net/e55evu

The steepest street in the world: Baldwin Street (Dunedin, New Zealand)

With an incline of a whopping 34.8%, Baldwin Street is not only a popular tourist attraction, but also the steepest street in the world. However, the title has been highly competitive in recent years. Baldwin Street held it for 34 years and was briefly replaced in 2019 by Ffordd Pen Llech in the small town of Harlech (Wales) with an incline of 37.45%.

Baldwin Street is so steep that, depending on your perspective, neighboring houses look completely crooked.

Photo: panthermedia.net/braumer

The measurements were challenged, so it was decided that the slope of the road should be measured in the middle of the road. Because of this change, the Baldwin Street incline was 34.8% and the Ffordd Pen Llech incline was 28.6%. After all, the two competitors have a common denominator: They both come from the pens of British road construction engineers.

The curviest street in the world: Lombard Street (San Francisco, USA)

In San Francisco, USA, Lombard Street was so steep in the early 1920s that motorists and pedestrians had problems using it. It was laid out in a serpentine shape in 1922 to ease the 27% gradient. Lombard Street runs for around 400 meters as a feeder to the famous Golden Gate Bridge on Russian Hill. The entire course of the street stretches across San Francisco. At a distance of 145 meters, the world's curviest road has 10 curves. The title of the curviest street is not secured, however, because Vermont Street in the Potrero Hill district, also in San Francisco, already has 5 curves at only 85 meters. Nevertheless, Lombard Street makes it into the Guinness Book of Records.

The most dangerous road in the world: Yungas Strait (Andes, Bolivia)

The Yungas Street is at around 3,500 meters above sea level and is also known under the name “Ruta de la Muerte” (in English: “Road of Death”). It was named the most dangerous road in the world by the Inter-American Development Bank. The designation lives up to its name. Every year 200 to 300 people died on the pass between the northeast of the city of La Paz and the small town of La Cumbre. This is due to the fact that a 21 km long, single-lane section with a narrow width of around 3.5 meters is neither adequately paved nor secured. On one side the road is bordered by a rock wall, from which rocks like to detach. On the other side there is usually a steep, up to 600 m deep slope.

The Yungas Street in Bolivia was also known as the "Death Street". Since 2006 a new road connects La Paz and Coroico.

Photo: panthermedia.bet/milosk50

The gravel road rarely has crash barriers or a wider lane, so that evasive maneuvers are extremely problematic or even impossible. External influences such as heavy rain or fog make the journey even more difficult. Today, however, this arduous passage can be bypassed on a new, safe, paved asphalt road. Today, Yungas Street is mainly only used as a tourist magnet and is therefore not very busy.

The highest street in the world: Uturuncu (Quetena Chico, Bolivia)

The highest drivable road is on a volcano in southwest Bolivia. The Uturuncu can be climbed on this road up to a maximum total height of 5,768 meters, over a distance of around 13 kilometers. There was a sulfur mine on the secondary peak of the volcano until the mid-1990s.

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The road acted as the only feeder to the mine. Nowadays it is only used and maintained for tourist purposes by local guides. Even in the Himalayas, a road at a higher elevation has never been developed. However, the Uturuncu road is only accessible by bike.

The world's most bridged road: Atlantic Road (Fylke Møre og Romsdal, Norway)

The Atlantic Road runs over a length of 8,274 meters in Norway between the coastal towns of Vevang and Kårvåg. It connects several small islands with a total of 8 bridges and is one of the Norwegian landscape routes. The total length of the bridges is 891 m. Planning of the tourist attraction began as early as the 1970s. After construction began on August 1, 1983, the street was finally opened on July 7, 1989. It has since replaced a ferry connection along this route. The construction of the Atlantic Road cost 122 million Norwegian kroner. In 2005 it was also named Norwegian Building of the Century.

Possibly the most famous street in the world: Route 66 (Illinois to California, USA)

First of all, the title of the most famous street in the world is not officially awarded. That is why opinions differ about it. In addition to Route 66, Lombard Street in San Francisco, Orchard Road in Singapore, the Champs Élysées in Paris or numerous others could take this place. But probably no other street enjoys such a legendary and mystical reputation as Route 66. It was sung about by greats from the music business and adored by fans who followed the call for freedom.

The largest cities in the world

Route 66 was opened in 1926 along and in the midst of scenic attractions such as the Grand Canyon or the Mojave Desert. The 3,945 km long highway connects the cities of Chicago (Illinois) and Santa Monica (California) for the most part in a straight line. Today the route is interrupted in many places and has not been a busy traffic route for a long time. Route 66 only attracts attention as a tourist attraction.

The most complicated street in the world (Los Angeles / Swindon)

Two contenders could share the title of the world's most complicated road. If this title were officially given, one of the chosen ones would be Judge Harry Pregerson Interchange. In Los Angeles, this complicated superlative freeway junction overlaps with Interstate 105 and 110 on four levels. At a height of up to 40 meters, vehicles can turn, drive in or out here in all directions. In the midst of the engineering masterpiece of bridges, ramps, pillars and roadways, there are even some palm trees rising into the sky.

The Magic Roundabout in Swindon, England consists of one large roundabout and five smaller roundabouts around it.

Photo: panthermedia.net/clickos

Also in the running for this fictional title is the British roundabout called Magic Roundabout. In the city of Swindon, west of London, the access roads of a roundabout have been expanded by 5 smaller roundabouts. The big advantage is that the city's highly frequented streets converge there and the construction means that there is hardly any backwater, as is usual with a traffic light system. This not only relieves the feeders, but also the general traffic situation in the city.

The most expensive street in the world

If you want to live on a really exclusive street, the Avenue Princesse Grace in Monaco is recommended. It is considered the most expensive road in the world. Living here right by the sea costs between 85,000 and 135,000 euros. Unfortunately not per apartment and not per room. The price is due per square meter.

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A contribution by:

  • Klara Papp

  • Silvia chicken

    Silvia Hühn is a freelance editor with a technical focus. Among other things, she writes about the records in the world.