Monday, March 16, 2009

Did I mention I'm really good at U-turns?

My dad's wife once, many years ago, gave me her rule in driving. the rule is two U-turns does not mean you are lost. Since arriving in Seattle, I would like to extend that to four.

Wikipedia says it best.
"Seattle and King County make systematic use of directionals (such as N for north or NE for northeast) in street names. To a lesser degree, street types such as avenue and street) are also used systematically. As a rule, "streets" run more or less east-west (or, in and near downtown, northeast-southwest), and "avenues" run more or less north-south (or, in and near downtown, northwest-southeast). However, a road, boulevard, way, or thoroughfare with any other type designation may run in any direction. The land boundaries of the district laid out according to the Denny and Boren plats that follow the shoreline are all "Ways" (Denny Way, Yesler Way, Broadway).


  1. "Streets" and other east-west thoroughfares prefix the directional; for example NE 45th Street.
  2. "Avenues" and other north-south thoroughfares suffix the directional; for example 45th Avenue NE, University Way NE.
  3. In most sections of the city, the same directional is used for both of these purposes.
  4. There is no consistency about affixing dots in the designation. For example, 45th Avenue NE is used interchangeably with 45th Avenue N.E.

Seattle is divided into eleven sections, each with a different combination of directionals."

Are any of you catching this?  I am SOOOO confused - AND I've been trying to drive it.

North of the Lake Washington Ship Canal are the following sections: west of 1st Avenue NW, the NW section; between 1st Avenue NW and 1st Avenue NE, the N section; east of 1st Avenue NE, the NE section.

South of the canal but north of Denny Way are the following sections: west of Queen Anne Avenue N, the W section; " blah, blah, blah...

 "north to Denny Way, streets are prefixed E and avenues have no suffix; to the west this border, no directionals are used."

Final moment that drives me still crazier:  

"There is no SE section within the Seattle city limits; the SE section contains all of the southeastern suburbs and the rest of the southern half of King County, including Mercer Island, parts of Renton[4] and Bellevue, and other locations within the county." So SE means suburbs only, I think.

If you've made it through that blather, because that is what it is I would simply like to add that every street has a number and I have always embraced my habit of tranposing, until now. 

Every street starts with NE.  I can only wonder why they bother with the NE when everything is NE - unless you live in New England, where I suppose everything is in the SW. Just a thought as I am over the edge, no longer in control and extremely tired.

Last and best moment from Wiki - "The names of the twelve streets in the heart of the central business district are paired by their first letters. From south to north, they are: Jefferson, James, Cherry, Columbia, Marion, Madison, Spring, Seneca, University, Union, Pike, Pine. One way to remember the order of the street pairs is with the mnemonic "Jesus Christ Made Seattle Under Protest",[1] (JCMSUP)."

I'm very good at u-turns. oh, and Google just the beginning.