Difference Between Freeway and Parkway (With Table)

As we know, a highway in each country or city is a major road for the public, and it connects different cities with one another, and a freeway is part of such highways that generally have two lanes or even more than two and have no tolls. A parkway is also a highway but the one that is landscaped.

Freeway vs Parkway

The difference between Freeway and Parkway is that Freeway mainly has two or more than two lanes having no tolls through in it and Parkway on the other hand parkway is a decorated road and has traffic signals too.

A freeway is a type of highway only but a specific one, one without any tolls. It is often called an expressway, too, in some regions. A freeway is generally made for high-speed vehicular traffics.

While a parkway is also a highway but the one that is landscaped, and this can be natural (through a forest) and artificial (with planted trees) too. Although, none of these terms are very exact and specific as their usages vary with the location and the dialect. 

Comparison Table Between Freeway and Parkway

Parameters of ComparisonFreewayParkway
Meaning Freeway is part of highway only and without toll, having 2 or more lanes and is sometimes called an expressway.Parkway is an important and major public road like a usually decorated highway and has traffic lights. A parkway can also be a part of a highway.
Designed forIt is basically designed for high-speed vehicular traffic and is the highest class of controlled highways.They are often called the city streets because of being narrow as two lanes and with a landscaped median.
TollsA freeway has no tolls and is made for mainly high-speed vehicular traffics.A parkway has no tolls either as it is mainly inside of a city or a region.
Other namesExpressway, motorway (in different countries and their parts)Parkway has no alternate name.
ExamplesA toll-free highwayAn open landscaped highway.

What is Freeway?

A freeway is basically designed for vehicles with high speed. This is the reason it has no tolls. It is known as a motorway in the United Kingdom, parts of Europe, New Zealand, Pakistan, and in parts of Australia and is called an expressway in parts of Canada, India, parts of the united states, and parts of Asia.

A freeway provides the travelers with an unhindered flow of traffic throughout the way, with no traffic lights or tolls and with no intersection too.

They are also free of crossing with other roads, railways, and pedestrian parts. Well, eventually, people started to replace the earlier ones’ descriptive names like harbor freeway with the route numbers, although it was called the 110 and not 110.

The reason behind “the” is that essentially, “the” in the southern Californian saying that “I drove to the highway way before it was cool.”

What is Parkway?

The term parkway is initially used for the road that is in a park or for the road that is having borders or connecting to a park. From these roads, trucks and all the heavy vehicles are excluded. Over some past years, many different types of roads are termed parkways. This term may be sometimes used to describe the city streets that are as narrow as two lanes having a landscaped median, wide landscaped setback, or even both.

The term parkway is also bee used for describing scenic highways and limited-access roads too. Highway and Parkway might sound the same sometimes, but the difference between a highway and a parkway is that a highway is a major public road that is paved and, most of the time, maintained by the federal or the local government of the city or the country.

While a parkway has narrow lanes as compared to a highway or even a freeway and the Parkway may or may not even requires the toll. Originally, these parkways were referred to as the broad roads that were through the parks. Then, once the automobiles came to the scene, parkways soon became the province of the cars and other small vehicles.

A little before the Parkway, the driveway came into the little use. But unlike the Parkway, the driveway did not refer to where the path was but, in fact, what the path was for.

Main Differences Between Freeway and Parkway

  1. A freeway is basically designed for vehicles with high speed; this is the reason it has no tolls, while Parkway is an important and major public road like a highway that is usually decorated and has traffic lights.
  2. A freeway has often been termed an expressway in some countries and their parts, but a parkway has no alternate name.
  3. Freeway is part of highway only, and It is without toll usually, having two or more lanes and is sometimes is also called as an expressway, but a parkway can be a city road too with traffic signals.
  4. Parkway is an important and major public road like a highway that is usually decorated and has traffic lights too. A parkway can also be a part of a highway. They are often called the city streets too because of being narrow as two lanes and with a landscaped median. But a freeway is a road that connects different cities and areas.
  5. Highway and Parkway might sound the same sometimes, but the difference between a highway and a parkway is that Freeway mainly has two or more than two lanes having no tolls through in it and Parkway, on the other hand, the Parkway is a decorated road and has traffic signals too.

Conclusion

From all the data above, we came to the conclusion that both the roads- Freeway and Parkway are two different forms of roads in a country or in a city. Both might sound the same or might have the same features and uses, and even both came across the same way in some areas, but both of them are totally different.

A freeway is a type of highway only but a specific one, one without any tolls. In contrast, a parkway is also a highway but the one that is landscaped. And this can be natural (through a forest) and artificial (with planted trees) too. However, none of these terms are very exact and specific as their usages vary with the location and the dialect. 

References

  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S089571770280019X
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S019126159800023X
  3. https://www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/ResourceConsentDocuments/LUC60319564%2012%20Appendix%208%20PSI.pdf
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