A linear park with a non-commercial road running through it forming a scenic drive that either transports vehicular traffic through cities or non-urban settings such as a state or National Park, providing visual and even physical access to desired destinations. In both instances, parkways can function as destinations in their own right, attracting visitors on a “Sunday drive.” Parkways are ribbons of vegetation often linking economic centers, cultural amenities, and neighborhoods with their parks.

In the nineteenth century, Frederick Law Olmsted, Sr. and Calvert Vaux employed parkways consisting of multi-laned carriage drives and pedestrian walkways to connect various parks and provide commuter routes from the suburbs to urban centers. In the twentieth century, parkways were developed to accommodate automobile driving as a form of recreation. These limited access parkways, for the most part non-commercial, typically connected large parks or historic sites and provided a wide range of scenic and recreational experiences.