The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

2 January 2004

Halfway measures

A question from Alan K. Henderson:

Can anyone tell me why Austin has a 38½ Street?

The short answer: well, it's between 38th and 39th. In Austin generally, the half-streets are used in preference to dubbing one of them "Place" or "Terrace", as is done up here in Oklahoma; the highest-numbered street in Austin, if I remember correctly, is 56½ Street.

If you exit west from I-35 at 38½ Street, eventually (west of Red River Street, I believe) you will be diverted onto 38th, which in turn mutates into 35th. Visitors are perplexed; so are residents.

Posted at 9:55 AM to Driver's Seat


Y'know, being in the Using-Street-Addresses-Alot type of employ, the 1/2 thing would be GREAT here.. If there were really some order to the Place, Terrace, and Circle (nevermind Court) street naming process, there wouldn't be a problem. But there isn't, as far as I can see. Matter of fact, this goes for Streets as well. I can show you two places within a mile of each other that completely defy the so-called laws of addressing. One is hard to describe, easy to see, so I'll tell you the other one.

NW 58th and Grove. Here, there's a 4 way stop, To the North and South is Grove. Perfectly normal. East is 58th Street. West is 58th Street. Normal. 5600's start going west. Still jibes with every other street. However... When you get to around 5633, going west, the 5700's start, which would be fine, except.... 5633 (or wherever) is on the EAST side of Grove, as well as the following addresses. I have no idea how that happened. The only thing that makes it easy to remember is that the goofy part of 58th is also a dirt/gravel road.

So to sum up.. 5633-5699 really *should* be 5033-5099, to fit with every other street around there. But the jackass that numbered the apartments in the area must have still had some crack in his system when he finished with those, so they had him do street addresses until he came down.

Posted by: Terkish Payne at 12:39 PM on 2 January 2004

NW 36th west of Ann Arbor. South side of the street is in Oklahoma City and starts at 4900. North side is in Warr Acres and starts at 5500.

Ann Arbor being halfway between Meridian (4500) and MacArthur (5900), it seems like it ought to be 5200.

What perplexes my children, who also live in a county with a grid, is that the numbered streets here end the block, rather than begin it: the 6000 block is between 59th and 60th, not between 60th and 61st.

Posted by: CGHill at 1:05 PM on 2 January 2004

You've never REALLY enjoyed navigating until you've tried driving in Coral Springs, FL, the suburban Fort Lauderdale city in which I grew up.

Firstly, the north/south streets are numbered using the Pompano Beach numbering system, so the lowest numbered N/S street is something like NW 68th Street (the highest numbered would be NW 125th, I think). The East/West streets start with SW 1st Street (the next street is NW 1st street, with no road in-between to divide them), and head up from there.

Because the city is a planned city, there are many small neighborhoods (subdivisions) with only one or two streets connecting them to the rest of the city. Consequently, there are a lot of roads with the same name that are not connected to each other. 40th Court (for example) shows up as three totally disconnected streets in three subdivisions, and 75th Avenue was divided into two sections in ONE subdivision (it may be in others as well; I'm not sure about that).

Because of the loops and cul-de-sacs and other strangeness, the numbering system was often a bit odd. One house I lived in was located at a bend in the road. Our neighbors to our right (facing the house from the street) had a house number that was ours +2; which made sense. The other neighbors, however, had a number totally different, as they were on a different street (despite the fact that they were right next to us and faced more or less the same direction). I used to dread trying to give directions to people who were new to the area, as they seldom wrote down street names, only the numbers, so they didn't know the difference between 42nd Street, 42nd Drive, and 42th Place (all three were different streets).

Posted by: timekeeper at 2:42 PM on 2 January 2004

Between Main Street, which is NW or NE 1st, and Reno Avenue, which is SW or SE 1st, there are three streets. This explains why the blocks come out offset by 100, but it's a genuine pain for visitors, especially now that we actually have some.

Posted by: CGHill at 8:25 PM on 2 January 2004

I believe the snafu described has to do with Warr Acres 911 system. When it went into place apparently some investigation was done and that is when it was noted that some misnumbering had taken place. Didn't make them any difference what Oklahoma City across the street did. For their purposes things were correct :)

Posted by: ms7168 at 9:23 AM on 3 January 2004

God forbid anyone should have to find something in the western half of Midwest City. While the arteries retain the names and numbering that they had elsewhere, the numbering on side streets is based on their distance from SE 29th and Mid-America Blvd. This makes for some weird anomalies, since NE 10th marks the beginning of the 3800 block if you're west of Midwest Blvd.; east of it, it's the 4200 block. (Of course, everywhere else in the county, it's the beginning of the 1100 block.) Since 10th, like most east-west arteries, has scarcely any curves at all, this has the potential to be confusing; I would hate like hell to be a new pizza guy in that part of the county.

Posted by: CGHill at 12:31 PM on 3 January 2004

Addressing has nothing to do with why *I* wouldn't want to be a pizza guy over there. :) It'd cost me all my tips just to keep stocked with Corn-Nuts(TM).

Anyway, with all the porked-up addresses on streets, it's amazing anything gets anywhere.

Posted by: Terkish Payne at 3:20 AM on 5 January 2004