In researching the Narrowest Main Streets, I used the same parameters for verifying America’s Widest Main Streets:
- They must fall into my definition of Main Street, which is “the most important street in a community.” I do not necessarily limit main streets to small towns.
- Measurements are taken from building front to building front. The building edge is typically the storefront, but if the street is completely lined with covered porches, the building front is considered the outer face of the porch. This measurement includes the sidewalks, because quite often they cover the original street.
- They must feel like a single unified space or zone.
Narrowest Main Street in the World: Main Street, Placencia, Belize
Recognized by Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s narrowest street, this street is actually a four-foot sidewalk framed by sand, shops and restaurants. Nevertheless, locals and visitors alike regard it as Palencia Village’s real community zone. From the storefronts, the overall width measures around 12 feet at its narrowest points.
Narrowest Main Street in the North America: Main Street, Locke, CA
The historic Chinese American town of Locke, located in the Sacramento River delta, is the embodiment of small town nostalgia, and its 22-ft wide Main Street has become its icon. Rebuilt in 1915 after a devastating fire, the narrow two-story buildings are lined with porches, balconies, Chinese signs and wooden sidewalks.
Honorable Mention: Fan Tan Alley (Chinatown), Victoria, BC
At just five feet wide and three stories tall, this former gambling district successfully transformed into a tiny but functional commercial slice with small shops, a café, and apartments. Fan Tan is not the primary street in this district, but it is certainly worth a look.