03 July 2005

[geography] The Address Nerd On High-Numbered Streets

I adore high-numbered streets. Actually, I love all numbered streets and am particularly amused when the numberes get sufficiently big.

In the past I've mentioned the Portland grid's highest number: S.E. 502nd Avenue, in the outer precincts, past Sandy, not quite to Welches. Recently we went out there to get photos of the sign, and were dismayed to find the sign was not up any longer-though the addresses on the mailboxes still reflected the street's amazing name and the Cole Cross-reference directory for Portland still features it as a name.

And I've mentioned that, in the Greater Salem area, there exists at 170th Ave, S.E.

There are even numbered avenues in the low 700s in northeastern King County in Washington-along US Highway 2. The joke here is that to get to this part of King County from Seattle you hve to go north to Snohomish County, then east from Everett...you can't get there from here unless you go over there first.

The search in Google for "highest numbered street"
returns a page with six or seven hits, including on of my own articles on this subject. The one at the top, titled "Lucas County-Page 1" has a word on an area of Toledo, Ohio, called "Point Place".

Geographically, this is in the northeastern part of the city, between the mouth of the Maumee River and the Ohio-Michigan state line. It's interesting because it's completely made of crossing numbered streets-no avenues. The potential conflicts are obviated by two different ranges for the E-W streets vice the N-S streets (I don't have a map at hand, but it's something like 130-160 one way and 270-340 the other). This photo (links to the site) details the intersection of 145th Street and 326th Street, which the author guesses as the highest-numbered street in the US (but we know better).

The other unique part of the street numbering scheme is that aside from an obvious increase in the street numbers in the SW-NE direction, there is no apparent origin, nor does the numbering scheme obviously tie into either the Toledo city street naming system nor any apparent system extant in Lucas County. I expect that it's probably a way of naming streets locally to differentiate the district from other areas. But the question as to why the number ranges were chosen such may be one that never gets an answer.

It's a nice site to visit; the author loves street blades as much as I do. Warning dialup users: the pix are big and will take a while to download. But if you love street signs, it's worth the look.

The entire site links here.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for your research into high numbered streets. I remember being a bit shocked by high numbered avenues along US 10 west of the Phoenix megalopolis. I recently couldn't find an avenue higher than 571st on a map. Here's a link to a beeline of how that relates to the center of town:



tvphobic AT yahoo DOT something

Samuel John Klein said...

I've seen that, in the greater Phoenix Thomas Guide (of which I have an older one)

There was an error in loading the URL you sent, and I've replied to you under separate cover with the details.