Turn here, or somewhere

Not geared toward the tourists, anyway:

I wasn’t here when the townships of Oklahoma City and South Oklahoma were merged, way back in 1890, but the ironclad grid we have today wasn’t quite so griddy back then:

One of the most compelling shots is from Day Three — the 24th of April, 1889, two days after the Land Run — showing rows of tents (there were no permanent structures yet) seemingly knocked out of position along the sides of the rudimentary street. This was a legal matter: two different townsite companies were platting the place, and their survey lines didn’t quite match. For decades thereafter, north-south streets downtown had a noticeable “jog” at Clarke Street, later Grand Avenue, now Sheridan Avenue.

Which says something, since the nearest section-line road is Reno, two blocks south. Six miles north of it, at Wilshire Boulevard, there are jogs even today. Six miles south is the Cleveland County line.

(Via Dustin Akers, who used to live in these parts.)


  1. fillyjonk »

    9 March 2018 · 7:01 pm

    …and when BOTH planners hate the people who live in that city.

    I don’t know what was up with the planning of my city; there are streets that dead-end just to pick back up a few blocks farther west. And of course when the interstate went through it cut a lot of streets in half and sometimes the developers’ solution was to make them double back in weird loops.

    There’s a lot of You Can’t Get There From Here in my town, and even after 18 years of living here there are still residential districts I’ve never been in. I use Google Maps a lot when I have a meeting at someone’s house so I’m not flailing at the last minute when I realize that Maple or whatever doesn’t go straight through….

  2. CGHill »

    10 March 2018 · 1:31 am

    What perplexes some of our new arrivals is the numbering system: a numbered street marks the end, not the beginning, of the block. Sixth Street is where the 700 block begins. (Suburbs do not necessarily adhere to this rule.)

    The map above, if anyone cares, displays Missoula, Montana.

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