A paper street is a road or street that appears on maps but does not exist in reality. Paper streets generally occur when city planners or subdivision developers lay out and dedicate streets that are never built. Commercial street maps based only on official subdivision and land records may show these streets, which are legally public rights of way though usually undriveable.
Paper streets (and, by extension, paper towns) may be deliberately included in published maps as trap streets, forming a copyright trap.
A play on the phrase is found in Chuck Palahniuk's novel Fight Club, as well as the film based on that book, where the protagonist lives in a house on "Paper street".
Paper towns play a large role in John Green's novel Paper Towns.