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Author Topic: Cities where streets have directional prefixes, but the street signs omit them  (Read 1968 times)

KCRoadFan

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In the KC area (where I live), the Johnson County, KS suburban street grid is a western extension of the Kansas City, MO grid, and as such, the numbered streets all have a "West" prefix. However, in most cases, this "W" doesn't appear on the street signs. Among the major Johnson County suburbs, only Olathe and Gardner include directional prefixes on their street signs; most of the other big ones - Overland Park, Shawnee, Leawood, Mission, and Prairie Village among them - leave the directional indicators off. (A couple of the smaller municipalities in the northeast part of the county, such as Roeland Park and Westwood, include the prefix, but county-wide, it's more the exception than the rule.) Meanwhile, KCMO itself is mixed - signs for east-west numbered streets display prefixes, while named ones ( Linwood, Armour, Gregory, Bannister, etc.) omit them. However, north of the river, all streets with "N", "NE", and "NW" prefixes include them on the signs.

As far as other cities go, St. Louis doesn't include directional prefixes on the signs, at least not in the city; the county is more varied in that regard, with some suburbs (Clayton, Kirkwood, Webster Groves) posting the prefixes, and others not. In Denver, meanwhile, there is this weird inconsistency regarding the signs for the east-west avenues: "West" avenue signs include the directional, while "East" ones do not, for whatever reason. On the other hand, street signs in Chicago and Minneapolis always post the prefix.

From your experience, what is the practice of other cities throughout the country regarding how streets with directional prefixes are expressed on the street signs, as far as whether or not those prefixes are posted?
« Last Edit: November 21, 2021, 11:01:25 PM by KCRoadFan »
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GaryV

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On my street corner, the "E" is posted on the cross street which has the longer name, but the "N" is not posted on my street with the shorter name. (So it's not just a matter of it fitting on the sign.)

The streets have corresponding W and S versions, respectively.  But in neither case is there a direct connection from my corner to the corresponding opposite direction version - a park and a golf course are in the way.
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For some reason, in Kitchener, they omit the directional suffix on the large signs on the mast arms, but include them on the small signs on the signal poles. Here's an example in street view.

Also, fun fact, King St through Waterloo Region has all four directional suffixes. Heading "north" from Kitchener to Waterloo, it goes east > west in Kitchener, then south > north in Waterloo.
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In my hometown of Amherst, NS, East Victoria St goes through the downtown core, but street signs downtown delete the word "East" (directions on street signs are written out in the town). (For the record, the dividing line between East and West Victoria St is at the CN railway tracks).
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Most cities I've seen don't put the directional prefix on the sign, as if the "E, W, N, or S" is assumed to be part of the address.  Like, is it "4385S" "Dingus Drive", or is it, "4385" "S Dingus Drive"?

 It's usually only larger and wealthier cities that put the directional prefix on there.
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Most cities I've seen don't put the directional prefix on the sign, as if the "E, W, N, or S" is assumed to be part of the address.  Like, is it "4385S" "Dingus Drive", or is it, "4385" "S Dingus Drive"?

This is how most people treat addresses in Salt Lake. Probably for the better too, given that most street names are in fact address coordinate numbers. If you're at an intersection that's fully signed "S 700 E" and "E 400 S" you have two redundant pieces of information, and having two directions in one address is apparently confusing to a hell of a lot of people. Using just "700 East" and "400 South" conveys exactly the same information in a much simpler way.

Even though I think the prefixes are part of the official names in the database, they are never signed and nobody seems to think about them that way. The few exceptions are a handful of major named streets like Main or State Street, which still have no signed prefix but occasionally get one in conversation. I remember one car dealership had a TV jingle that went "South State Street in Salt Lake City, Capital Lincoln Mercury!"

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I'm guessing this is common elsewhere, but in the Athens GA area the street signs have a directional prefix (if applicable, i.e. if they have both N and S addresses or both E and W addresses), but the BGS on the GA 10 Loop freeway don't include that prefix. For example, there are street name signs with "S Milledge Ave" but the exit from 10 Loop has a sign with just "Milledge Ave".
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