Old roads can live thousands of years. The Via Appia, or Appian Way, heading south from Rome, was built 2000 years ago. It is still is trod and even driven in parts. Portland has its own roads—ancient by our standards-- that are still in use.
SE Stark Street was platted in the 1850s; it was then called Baseline Road, running along an east-west baseline (the Willamette Baseline) that, along with the north-south Willamette Meridian formed the basis for mapping and measuring all real property in Oregon and Washington. The legal description on your home’s deed or mortgage describes where your property lies in relation to these two lines. The baseline and meridian were mapped in 1851. They cross in Portland in the West Hills at Willamette Stone State Park.
For a steep walk up to the Willamette Stone State Park, see this link to a tough climb through forest and neighborhoods, with a killer stair climb to boot.
Old can also be near-forgotten, at least by most travelers. Some of my favorite roads are “Olds”—Old Germantown, Old Cornelius Pass, Old Highway 47. They aren’t nearly as tidily straight as their newer versions. They hug the land higher up the hillsides, they have steeper grades, and less traffic. They’re not as built up or wide, and on them, your car or your bike returns to a less frenetic pace, where the journey is just as interesting as the destination.