Driving in Charlotte: What's With All the Queens?

Queens Road meets Queens Road in Charlotte.

If you find yourself at the intersection of Queens Road and Queens Road, you're not the victim of a prank. Instead, you've just been initiated into a rite of Charlotte driving. Roads can change names even if you don't turn, or sometimes – in the case of Queens – stay the same name only if you turn. Welcome to Charlotte, y'all.

Queens Road begins in the Elizabeth area near Presbyterian Hospital and winds through Myers Park, necessitating several turns to stay on the road as it becomes Queens Road East, then Queens Road West and finally intersects upon itself again. It's helpful to think of Queens Road not as one road but as a loop, which was its original purpose: A streetcar ran through the median of Queens Road from 1891 to 1938, with a route that circled through Myers Park.

screen-shot-2015-05-26-at-5-57-39-pm.pngOther roads change names but lack any apparent reason why. Billy Graham Parkway becomes Woodlawn Road, which becomes Runnymede Lane without a single turn. Need to travel from Eastway Drive to Wendover Road to Sharon Lane? Just stay straight.

The good news: If you do get lost on Queens Road, you can enjoy the view as you're amid one of the most stately and beautiful neighborhoods in Charlotte. And who knows, if you stay on the road long enough, it may turn into Queens Road eventually anyway.

Jen Tota McGivney is a freelance writer living in Charlotte. View her portfolio at jenmcgivney.com.

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