Hear that? Exactly. Sirens, honking, and late night revelers won't bother homeowners in these abodes on one-block streets. The city may owe their existence to the engineering hand of Pierre L'Enfant, but nestled among the planned numbered and lettered streets and the diagonally-designed avenues creating those oh-so-fun multi-pronged intersections are little oases of city calm. Many of these one-block streets started as alleys that became streets in their own right. These one-block streets are sometimes called "places" (Duncan Place, Morton Place, etc.) and for the local nerd who needs to know all there is to DC's street naming conventions, these "places" start with the same letter as the lettered-street immediately to the south. These pockets allow neighbors to host impromptu block parties since the street isn't a thoroughfare. And parking is much easier because many people don't even know they exist.
· Washington's Systemic Streets [GGW]