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.
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). 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." Other areas may prohibit leaving vehicles on residential streets from 2 am to 6 am, necessitating the use of driveways.
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.
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- "Chapter 71A Vehicles, Parking Restrictions in Residential Areas" Township of Barnegat, NJ, retrieved on 2009-07-31.
- "Parking Enforcement & Restrictions" Transportation Division, City of Berkeley, CA, retrieved on 2009-07-31.
- "Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Residential Parking Restrictions" Escondido, CA, retrieved on 2009-07-31.