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Why are the numbered streets in OKC off by a block relative to the cross-streets

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KCRoadFan:
When I visited Oklahoma City this past weekend, I happened to notice a quirk in their street grid: namely, the numbered streets, which run east-west, correspond to the previous block number on the north-south cross-streets when going in an increasing direction, as opposed to most other cities in which numbered streets correspond 1-to-1 with block numbers, which tend to do it based on the next block. In other words, numbered streets in OKC are basically offset a block compared to what the address numbers on the cross-streets would imply.

For example, NW 23rd Street - a prominent commercial corridor just north of downtown - is between the 2300 and 2400 blocks on a given north-south street (Classen Boulevard, say), rather than between the 2200 and 2300 blocks as might be expected in most cities with numbered streets. What I would like to know is this: for people who visit or live in the area, is this a common source of confusion, and why might this particular arrangement have come to be? Having just come home from a fun weekend in OKC, Iím interested to hear more!

(By the way, sorry about the missing question mark in the thread title - the character limit would not allow me to add one. I hope you donít mind that too much.)

brad2971:

--- Quote from: KCRoadFan on February 06, 2023, 06:31:29 PM ---When I visited Oklahoma City this past weekend, I happened to notice a quirk in their street grid: namely, the numbered streets, which run east-west, correspond to the previous block number on the north-south cross-streets when going in an increasing direction, as opposed to most other cities in which numbered streets correspond 1-to-1 with block numbers, which tend to do it based on the next block. In other words, numbered streets in OKC are basically offset a block compared to what the address numbers on the cross-streets would imply.

For example, NW 23rd Street - a prominent commercial corridor just north of downtown - is between the 2300 and 2400 blocks on a given north-south street (Classen Boulevard, say), rather than between the 2200 and 2300 blocks as might be expected in most cities with numbered streets. What I would like to know is this: for people who visit or live in the area, is this a common source of confusion, and why might this particular arrangement have come to be? Having just come home from a fun weekend in OKC, I’m interested to hear more!

(By the way, sorry about the missing question mark in the thread title - the character limit would not allow me to add one. I hope you don’t mind that too much.)

--- End quote ---

You think that's a little off; you should visit Sioux Falls (SD) sometime. On numbered streets going south from downtown, they're off by as much as EIGHT blocks. For example, if one is on the 3300 block of South Minnesota Ave, that person's car is at the intersection of 41st and Minnesota Ave. North of downtown, you get a situation where 60th St. North intersects Cliff Ave. at the 5000 block of Cliff. And no one with any sense of Sioux Falls city planning or government history can explain coherently why that is.

Scott5114:
Weird. I mean, it clearly doesn't cause many problems, since I've never noticed the discrepancy.

US 89:
Salt Lake City used to have the one-block-off problem on the north and west sides of the city. In their case, it used to be that streets were named for how many blocks off they were from the temple block - for example, “Second West” was two blocks west of West Temple, the west side of the temple block - but addressing requires a central point, not a whole block, and that point was the SE corner of the temple block. So the first 100 address units were used by temple block, and cross streets would cross Second West between their 200 and 300 blocks. Curious if there’s a similar origin story with the OKC misalignment.

By the way, SLC changed all the street names to match addressing in the 1970s, and so old Second West is now 300 (“Third”) West. There are road photos out there from the original 1960s interstates with signs for the old names, which is kind of cool.

rte66man:
I've lived either in OKC or nearby most of my adult life and have never been confused by it. The average driver probably hasn't ever thought about it.

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