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Author Topic: Cities with odd street networks  (Read 20370 times)

7/8

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Cities with odd street networks
« on: July 29, 2016, 08:11:55 PM »

I'm looking for examples of cities with the opposite of a simple grid system :)

I'll start with my home city of Kitchener-Waterloo (technically two cities, but if it wasn't for the signs, you would think it's one city) :-D

The cardinal directions are simply chaos!

1) King St (which is one continuous road), going from Cambridge to St. Jacobs, is King St E, King St W, King St S, and King St N

2) There are multiple intersections of roads with the same cardinal direction. Examples include:
King St E/River Rd E in Kitchener


Highland Rd W/Westmount Rd W in Kitchener


3) Kitchener in particular has cardinal directions which simply don't match actual compass directions:

Examples include Lancaster St E and W, which is clearly N-S!


Victoria St S and N, which is much more E-W (Note: in this picture the route deviates slightly from Victoria St due to a road closure)


But one example in Waterloo is University Ave E, which makes a large U-turn on it's east end


4) Parallel streets sometimes have different cardinal directions

Victoria St S and Highland Rd W in Kitchener


And now getting away from cardinal directions...

5) Highway 8 and RR 8 share the same exit. This has confused a fair number of relatives coming to visit our house!

This GSV is on the 401 WB exit for the numbers 8's


6) Highway 8 was built on top of a portion of King St E in Kitchener, resulting in this strange situation where the street changes name to Weber St E, and there's also a small cul-de-sac still named King St E. This was definitely confusing when I first moved here :)


7) Most of the roads are not straight and meet at strange angles.

Just look at that map! You never know where a given road will go :-D

------------

So, what cities do you know of that have a odd street networks?



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jwolfer

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Re: Cities with odd street networks
« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2016, 10:06:57 PM »

New York had a crazy colonial era non grid in lower Manhattan, in what "was once New Amsterdam".. anyone get the reference.   

Then full on grid north of Greenwich village
« Last Edit: July 29, 2016, 10:11:18 PM by jwolfer »
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Bruce

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Re: Cities with odd street networks
« Reply #2 on: July 30, 2016, 02:00:10 AM »

The central business district of Seattle is a collision of three competing grids that are aligned to cardinal north, one man's claim on Elliott Bay, and another man's claim on Elliott Bay:



And then there's the neighborhoods that were absorbed as independent cities, like Ballard.

mariethefoxy

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Re: Cities with odd street networks
« Reply #3 on: July 30, 2016, 02:02:04 AM »

Boston... nuff said
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national highway 1

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Re: Cities with odd street networks
« Reply #4 on: July 30, 2016, 02:07:00 AM »

London, UK.
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CapeCodder

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Re: Cities with odd street networks
« Reply #5 on: July 30, 2016, 07:15:47 AM »

Barnstable, MA where I currently reside. The main roads are pretty compact, at least in Hyannis. Topography however dictates where the roads can go.
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CNGL-Leudimin

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Re: Cities with odd street networks
« Reply #6 on: July 30, 2016, 08:27:32 AM »

London, UK.

Pretty much all of Europe. At least by American standards.
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Re: Cities with odd street networks
« Reply #7 on: July 30, 2016, 02:03:41 PM »

Boston... nuff said

Boston is a legendary cluster.

Honorable mention goes to San Diego, that city's grid is basically forgotten outside of the downtown area.
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7/8

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Re: Cities with odd street networks
« Reply #8 on: July 30, 2016, 11:45:38 PM »

Not as intense as some of the other ones posted, but St. Catharines, ON has an interesting street network. The arterial roads form (more or less) a grid, but with the E-W roads skewed to match Lake Ontario.



There are also a few interesting intersections.

1) Welland Ave and Lake St, right next to Lake St and James St. These two closely-spaced intersections require interesting signage and signal phasing to make it function as one-intersection.



GSV of the signage heading south on Lake St


GSV heading south on Lake St


2) The 5-way intersection of St Paul St, Geneva St, Niagara St, and Queenston St. The sign assembly on St Paul St heading into the intersection shows the necessary signage. I can tell you, when I first moved there for my co-op job, I made the wrong "left-turn" a few times :-D



GSV of the signage on St Paul St
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Re: Cities with odd street networks
« Reply #9 on: July 31, 2016, 12:13:14 AM »

I'll put a plug in for Salt Lake City and a lot of Utah cities in general.  It's not that networks or bad or not well planned it's just that he number system is incredibly strange.  Instead of using something simple like a 1st Street and 1st Avenue a lot of them use something like 100 North or 100 South.  Once you get it all makes sense but it's very different....and I'm to understand that was all part of the civic planning that the Mormons did when they were colonizing Utah in general. 
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Re: Cities with odd street networks
« Reply #10 on: July 31, 2016, 01:58:04 AM »

Boston... nuff said
Not sure if it's a street network or a work of art.

Ah what the heck, I'll put in Washington DC as a contender. Their roadways collide at a 5 way intersection and I have no way where I am walking. I actually need a map to see where I'm walking.
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Re: Cities with odd street networks
« Reply #11 on: July 31, 2016, 06:39:20 AM »

Boston... nuff said
Not sure if it's a street network or a work of art.

Ah what the heck, I'll put in Washington DC as a contender. Their roadways collide at a 5 way intersection and I have no way where I am walking. I actually need a map to see where I'm walking.
The old joke was that Boston's street pattern evolved from the cow paths created when they were set free into the fields by the original Puritan settlers.
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Re: Cities with odd street networks
« Reply #12 on: August 01, 2016, 03:28:07 AM »

St. Paul, where the downtown streets conform to the river. Jesse Ventura had his infamous comment on late night TV that the street grid was designed by drunken Irishmen.
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RoadWarrior56

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Re: Cities with odd street networks
« Reply #13 on: August 01, 2016, 06:36:45 AM »

I vote ATLANTA.  I have lived in the metro area for over 30 years, and I still don't understand the way the streets are laid out.
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Re: Cities with odd street networks
« Reply #14 on: August 01, 2016, 09:24:16 AM »

Any city with a grid-based system that follows a curved axis, like New Orleans and the Mississippi River.

Or my personal favorite: Cedar Rapids, IA, which is grid-based with two curved axes: 1st Avenue and the Cedar River.
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Re: Cities with odd street networks
« Reply #15 on: August 01, 2016, 10:36:53 AM »

Saint Louis: Parts of it were laid out in subdivisions, so often you'd have one street going WNW, such as Westminster Place, but two streets north, Delmar goes east-west with a slight turn ESE. The major N/S streets turn to the NE after a certain point, like Grand, Vandeventer, Kingshighway, Union, and Goodfellow.
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silverback1065

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Re: Cities with odd street networks
« Reply #16 on: August 01, 2016, 11:05:33 AM »

I'll put a plug in for Salt Lake City and a lot of Utah cities in general.  It's not that networks or bad or not well planned it's just that he number system is incredibly strange.  Instead of using something simple like a 1st Street and 1st Avenue a lot of them use something like 100 North or 100 South.  Once you get it all makes sense but it's very different....and I'm to understand that was all part of the civic planning that the Mormons did when they were colonizing Utah in general.

that's basically the way almost every county in indiana names their roads
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Re: Cities with odd street networks
« Reply #17 on: August 01, 2016, 11:10:21 AM »

I'll put a plug in for Salt Lake City and a lot of Utah cities in general.  It's not that networks or bad or not well planned it's just that he number system is incredibly strange.  Instead of using something simple like a 1st Street and 1st Avenue a lot of them use something like 100 North or 100 South.  Once you get it all makes sense but it's very different....and I'm to understand that was all part of the civic planning that the Mormons did when they were colonizing Utah in general.

that's basically the way almost every county in indiana names their roads

Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't Indiana along with Illinois where the Mormons migrated to Utah from?  Might stand to reason that the practices for road grids they had have origins in the Mid-West.
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silverback1065

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Re: Cities with odd street networks
« Reply #18 on: August 01, 2016, 11:19:49 AM »

I'll put a plug in for Salt Lake City and a lot of Utah cities in general.  It's not that networks or bad or not well planned it's just that he number system is incredibly strange.  Instead of using something simple like a 1st Street and 1st Avenue a lot of them use something like 100 North or 100 South.  Once you get it all makes sense but it's very different....and I'm to understand that was all part of the civic planning that the Mormons did when they were colonizing Utah in general.

that's basically the way almost every county in indiana names their roads

Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't Indiana along with Illinois where the Mormons migrated to Utah from?  Might stand to reason that the practices for road grids they had have origins in the Mid-West.
definitely Illinois, not sure about Indiana.
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jwolfer

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Re: Cities with odd street networks
« Reply #19 on: August 01, 2016, 11:56:34 AM »

I'll put a plug in for Salt Lake City and a lot of Utah cities in general.  It's not that networks or bad or not well planned it's just that he number system is incredibly strange.  Instead of using something simple like a 1st Street and 1st Avenue a lot of them use something like 100 North or 100 South.  Once you get it all makes sense but it's very different....and I'm to understand that was all part of the civic planning that the Mormons did when they were colonizing Utah in general.

that's basically the way almost every county in indiana names their roads

Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't Indiana along with Illinois where the Mormons migrated to Utah from?  Might stand to reason that the practices for road grids they had have origins in the Mid-West.
They started in upstate NY, they were in Nauvoo , IL for a while and were run out of town, eventually ending up I. What was then outside the United States in Utah...

They believe the garden of Eden was in Jackson county, MO and that is where Christ will come again
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Re: Cities with odd street networks
« Reply #20 on: August 01, 2016, 12:28:49 PM »

Paris, France has this weird spider web grid going on
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Re: Cities with odd street networks
« Reply #21 on: August 01, 2016, 12:52:56 PM »

There are many cities that were laid out at an offset to true N-S in order to expose more sides of buildings to sunlight. Downtown Battle Creek is laid out in such a way. Of course, Battle Creek has different dividing lines depending on which part of town it is, and many streets' numbering begin at the start of a street rather than conform to any grid.
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Re: Cities with odd street networks
« Reply #22 on: August 01, 2016, 02:43:49 PM »

The downtown area of Santa Barbara is on a grid pattern:



However, the street grid is 48 degrees off from true north, which means that "north" is closer to east than it is to north. Also, the roads (like State Street) turn to pretty much straight east-west once you get out of downtown, which turns what's left of the grid off by about 90 degrees.

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Re: Cities with odd street networks
« Reply #23 on: August 02, 2016, 02:45:23 AM »

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Re: Cities with odd street networks
« Reply #24 on: August 02, 2016, 02:57:15 PM »

I vote ATLANTA.  I have lived in the metro area for over 30 years, and I still don't understand the way the streets are laid out.

Atlanta's streets look like they were designed by a 3 year old with a crayon.
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