There are over 100 Hamden streets that once existed - or were planned - but no longer exist, at least as actual streets. These fall into several categories:
Streets planned but never built:
Starting around the turn of the twentieth century, developers subdivided land with streets and lots on them for houses. While most subdivisions were eventually successful, in a few cases plans were abandoned and streets were never built at all (Hartridge Rd., Scenic View Ln.) In other cases, streets were cleared but not paved and only a few houses were built on them (Edgewood Av., Orchard St.) Some such streets remain as paper streets.
Paper streets are strips of land owned by the Town but not paved. Some are dirt roads easily accessed by motor vehicles (Leeds St.), some are hiking trails (Kay Hill Rd., part of Six Rod Hwy.), and some are not easily passable even on foot (Elmwood Pl.)
Some paved streets that actually existed for many years were eventually abandoned to allow redevelopment of the land around them (Connell St., Sampson St.) or were obliterated by expressway construction (Adams St., Fenwick St.).
During the first wave of suburban development around the turn of the twentieth century, streets were named by their developers without any concern if there was a street with the same name in another part of town. Town Engineer F. Walden Wright's 1922 survey finding many duplicate street names, and concerns of the Post Office, utility companies, and merchants making home deliveries, caused many streets to be renamed. In some cases, when a street was extended to connect to another street, the latter took on the former's name (Lakeview Av. and Greenwood St. were absorbed by Greenway St.) When Mix Av. was cut in two by the Wilbur Cross Pkwy., its southern portion was renamed Battis Rd.
There are at least two examples of streets that were referred to by incorrect names: Julian Dr. was incorrectly signed as Juliano Dr. and Wilbur Cross Pkwy. is still sometimes referred to as the Merritt Pkwy.
Map publishers will sometimes depict on their maps a short street that does not exist. If this street appears on another map, the publisher can claim their copyright was violated. No such streets have been found on Hamden maps, but 1939 through 1949 editions of the city directory listed a Zoar Av. off Grafton Rd. that is purely fictitious.
Why consider obsolete street names?
In a few cases, obsolete street names give clues to how the actual streets were named. It seems puzzling why one of the shortest dead-end streets, Pacific St., has the name of the largest geographic feature in the world. But considering that Atlantic St. was planned to be next to it, the reason is obvious.
Why is Westland Rd. at the extreme eastern edge of town? The paper Eastland Rd. is just east of it.
A group of four streets off State St. all have the names of small towns in Maine, but knowing that another street in the subdivision used to have the name of another such town (Hudson St. renamed Stevens St.) and another (Leeds St.) is a paper street, provides additional confirmation.
Although most of the obsolete streets do not provide such clues, they provide a glimpse into the way the town developed.