After reading the excellent article Debunking the Cul-de-Sac it occurred to me that there was one advantage to the cul-de-sac that the author missed. This one requires a story: I was about 14 years old and visiting my first cousins' home in Wayne, NJ. We were playing together when they suggested a challenge: a race around the block. No problem! I often did a jog around my block back at home, just for exercise. We took off, and I was keeping a good pace, staying ahead. My cousins had dropped back, and I figured I had them beat for sure. One problem kept cropping up though: we kept turning away from the starting point! About a half a mile later I lost the lead, since I am not and have never been a long distance runner. I lost sight of the two of them in the distance. I finally came around, exhausted, to the finish line to find them grinning. A clever joke! Around the block! Only 2 miles!
With that in mind, in a world without the cul-de-sac, you could not play this cruel joke on your unwitting cousin who comes from a town built before 1900.