23 October 2008

In King County, The Streets Go Even Higher - How About 762nd Avenue?


The photos in the last discourse give you the highest-numbered avenue we can find in the greater Portland area.

As absurd as a street named SE 502nd Avenue might sound (and as awesome a picture it might make) you will find others more highly-numbered elsewhere. Like, in King County, Washington, for instance.

The address system that encompasses King Country is fun to play with for Address Nerds. Thanks to the build-out in the orginial town of Seattle, the address system became at once amazingly complex and amazingly logical. Even though it's kind of odd, it's consistent and makes sense, so it's actually a lot more intutitive than you'd think at first. And it not only covers the land areas of King but also the islands (Vashon and Quartermaster) that belong in the county. And by looking at the address you can more or less instantly infer how far away from downtown Seattle you are. Nifty!

While I'm wont to go make a diagram of it and write a long discourse on how it all works, there's just no time. In the meantime, a creditable description (though it needs a diagram) is at Wikipedia here.

But what I was getting to (my point) is that the King County address grid is so thorough and consistent it really does have the whole big county ... including areas with no direct connection to Seattle. Skykomish is an area in northeastern King County, along the Stevens Pass Highway, US Hwy 2. To get to it, you acually hove to go north into Snohomish County – the next county north and take US 2 out of Everett, which tends southeastward until about thirty miles east of Everett when the highway takes you back into King County, and back into the King County address grid, which is consistently maintained.

If you follow this link, you'll find the following picture at Google Maps:

762nd Ave NE

(zoom out to get a good look at the area) To get there, take the Stevens Pass Hwy and turn of at NE 122nd Street. It will take you to 762nd Ave, NE. I'd love to get picture of that blade, I don't think I need to say.

We see evidence of a 763rd Ave, NE right next to it off the end of NE 123rd St, but since Google Maps has mislabeled it to the nonsensical "766rd Ave NE", we'll take a pass on it at this time. But given the utter consistency and relentlessness of King County street naming and addressing, we will say it's a likely thing.

If those tender hearted souls we read about in Snyder who quailed at the thought of in-city addresses as high at 7700 were transported to the present and escorted out to Skykomish, WA, we suspect their dear heads would asplode.

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