5 November 2005
Saturday spottings (get lost)
About the time the city announced that they had plans to change some of the downtown one-way streets, there was a piece in the paper about how tourists, despite the newly-installed Wayfinder system, were still getting lost, and one person was quoted as saying that downtown streets simply didn't make sense.
As a thirty-year resident, I was inclined to blow off that claim, until this evening right around sunset when I caught just about every freaking traffic light, and sitting at every other light, it seemed, was some poor soul peering into a map.
And well, yeah, it's a grid, but it's not an intuitive grid. Generally throughout the city, streets run east and west, avenues run north and south, but downtown blows this scheme to hell. Starting at the 200 block South and heading north, you cross Reno Avenue, California Avenue, Sheridan Avenue, Main Street, Park Avenue, Robert S. Kerr Avenue, Dean A. McGee Avenue, and 4th Street. The dividing line between North and South is not Main, but Sheridan; Main, in the grand scheme of things, is a fairly insignificant street despite its name. And there's the perplexing block offset: the 400 block North is not, as you might expect, between 4th and 5th, but between
About 5:55 I was at 8th and Lincoln (that's 900 Lincoln, by the way) and had the absurd idea of going down the two blocks to Stiles Park and watching them turn on the Big Green Light Saber, a notion for which I berated myself with a couple of iterations of "Do people with lives do this?" When I got there, there were half a dozen people already on hand, waiting for the throwing of the switch.
(Another paragraph starting with A. Do people with lives write like this?)Posted at 7:25 PM to City Scene