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Author Topic: Weird Elkhart street grid  (Read 1564 times)

Tschiezberger123

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Weird Elkhart street grid
« on: December 10, 2016, 07:40:36 PM »

The city of Elkhart, IN has a strange grid system. The north-south streets in the southwest quadrant are the only streets with a regular grid system. The grid system is listed below:

North-south streets:

East side:

Main St. (north side/downtown) - 100 E/W
Prairie St. (south side) - 100 E/W
Cassopolis St. (north side) - 400 E
Johnson St. (north side) - 900 E
Osolo Rd. (north side) - 2000 E
Jeanwood Dr. (north side) - 3200 E
Middleton Run Rd. (south side) - 3800 E
CR 15 (south side) - 4100 E
CR 17/ Six Span Ave. - 5300 E

West side:

Main St. (north side/downtown) - 100 E/W
Prairie St. (south side) - 100 E/W
Benham Ave. (south side) - 400 W
2nd-11th Sts. (south side) - 200 W - 1100 W
Michigan St. (north side) - 800 W
Oakland Ave. (south side) - 1200 W
Oak St. (north side) - 1300 W
West Blvd. (near north side/near south side) - 1700 W
13th-20th Sts. (south side) - 1300 W - 2000 W
Nappanee St. - 2100 W
CR 3 (north side) - 2800 W

East-west streets:

North side:

Jackson Blvd. (east side/downtown) - 100 N/S
Strong Ave. (west side) - 100 N/S
Beardsley Ave. - 800 N
Bristol St. - 1500 N
CR 6/Heaton Lake Rd. - 2700 N
CR 4/Sanford School Rd. - 3600 N

South side:

Jackson Blvd. (east side/downtown) - 100 N/S
Strong Ave. (west side) - 100 N/S
Middlebury St. (east side) - 700 S
Indiana Ave. - 1500 S
Lusher Ave. - 2100 S
Hively Ave. - 2700 S

Goshen's grid is even weirder, and why is the grid like this?
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GaryV

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Re: Weird Elkhart street grid
« Reply #1 on: December 11, 2016, 07:32:53 AM »

It looks like a lot of Elkhart was built parallel/perpendicular to the river, which is not so weird of a situation.  I'm not sure what you think is weird about Goshen, it seems pretty much a NS/EW grid pattern to me.

Sometimes competing interests make for an interesting street pattern.  Grand Rapids is one such city.  One settler leader set up part of the grid at an angle, along what is now called Monroe Center.  The settler to the north went on an NS/EW grid.  And since angles and squares don't necessarily line up, many of the streets didn't go through at all from one section to the other.  It has been cleaned up over the years, but that's why Ottawa and Ionia Streets have their weird bends.
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cabiness42

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Re: Weird Elkhart street grid
« Reply #2 on: December 11, 2016, 09:18:12 AM »

My mom's entire family is from Elkhart so I know the streets very well.  Between the rivers and the diagonal routing of the old Lincoln Hwy SE of town (Main St.) a regular grid is pretty much impossible. 
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Tschiezberger123

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Re: Weird Elkhart street grid
« Reply #3 on: December 11, 2016, 12:56:25 PM »

The weird part about Goshen is that 1st St. is 400 W (3 blocks west of Main St., which replaces 4th St.) This makes 16th St. 1300 E, making for an awkward numbering system.
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6a

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Re: Weird Elkhart street grid
« Reply #4 on: December 11, 2016, 01:02:41 PM »

The weird part about Goshen is that 1st St. is 400 W (3 blocks west of Main St., which replaces 4th St.) This makes 16th St. 1300 E, making for an awkward numbering system.

1st Avenue in Columbus OH is over a mile from the zero point of our grid. As for Elkhart, it looks like a good bit of the older parts are somewhat aligned with railroads and try to fit with that and the river.
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hobsini2

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Re: Weird Elkhart street grid
« Reply #5 on: December 12, 2016, 10:16:14 AM »

The weird part about Goshen is that 1st St. is 400 W (3 blocks west of Main St., which replaces 4th St.) This makes 16th St. 1300 E, making for an awkward numbering system.

1st Avenue in Columbus OH is over a mile from the zero point of our grid. As for Elkhart, it looks like a good bit of the older parts are somewhat aligned with railroads and try to fit with that and the river.
It is not that uncommon a practice as one would think to have numbered streets not start at the gridpoint center. In Chicagoland, 1st Ave is where it is because of its prox to the Des Plaines River. But several near west suburbs use the Chicago housing grid.
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Brandon

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Re: Weird Elkhart street grid
« Reply #6 on: December 12, 2016, 01:15:39 PM »

The weird part about Goshen is that 1st St. is 400 W (3 blocks west of Main St., which replaces 4th St.) This makes 16th St. 1300 E, making for an awkward numbering system.

1st Avenue in Columbus OH is over a mile from the zero point of our grid. As for Elkhart, it looks like a good bit of the older parts are somewhat aligned with railroads and try to fit with that and the river.
It is not that uncommon a practice as one would think to have numbered streets not start at the gridpoint center. In Chicagoland, 1st Ave is where it is because of its prox to the Des Plaines River. But several near west suburbs use the Chicago housing grid.

It's First Avenue as it is First Avenue for Maywood and Melrose Park, having nothing to do with Chicago's own grid.  Chicago's grid is used as far as Plainfield (which dumped its own grid in the 1990s) and unincorporated parts of Will County.  That said, a lot of the surrounding municipalities use their own grids.
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theline

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Re: Weird Elkhart street grid
« Reply #7 on: December 12, 2016, 08:51:39 PM »

I'll agree that Elkhart's street grid is weird. For years after moving to South Bend about 40 years ago, I'd get disoriented and lost whenever I had to go over there on business. I always considered myself a good navigator, but that place baffled me for a long time. Over the last few years, I finally got the hang of it.

As far as odd street numbering is concerned, Muncie is peculiar in starting numbered streets with First Street about 6 blocks south of Main Street. One might reasonably assume if he drove south on Walnut Street until reaching Eighth Street that he would be around the 800 block south, but he's really about the 1400 block. My Dad claimed that somebody just ran out of street names at the railroad tracks and was too stupid to realize it was illogical to start numbering there with First Street. Oddly enough, numbers are skipped with Willard Street (Fourth) and Memorial Drive (Twelfth).
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