Countless short streets, spanning just tens of feet, exist throughout NYC. However, how does one define a street? When does a street turn into an alley? The shortest street in this article will include the one that is opened on both ends allowing traffic to flow through. Several streets are in contention, all located downtown.
Edgar Street in the Financial District.
Quite possibly the shortest street in Manhattan (and indeed Forgotten NY claims it is the shortest), is Edgar Street. The street is located in the Financial District and named for shipping magnate William Edgar. It sits right at the entrance of the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel and spans the length from Trinity Place to Greenwich Street.
Gay Street in the West Village is a contender for the shortest street in Manhattan, but it is not.
Then there is Gay Street in Greenwich Village, running from Christopher Street to Waverley Place. Named in 1833, Gay Street was created as an alley for stables (akin to MacDougal Alley or Washington Mews). It did not receive its name in relation to LGBT rights, but most likely for an owner in the area. Gay Street is quite short, but is not the shortest.
Mill Lane though, located in the Financial District, appears to be the shortest street in Manhattan, just a few feet shorter than Edgar Street. There are no addresses on Mill Lane and the street spans from Stone Street in the east to South William Street (historically known as Mill Street) in the west. The street became Mill Lane in 1664, though it was previously called Elliot’s Alley.