Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Ox carts and streets.

#265: The theme for this week is Streetscapes.

Driving in Salt Lake City has some advantages, despite some of the worst drivers in the US.

The roads are quite wide.  Most of the downtown streets have (or had) 3 lanes in each direction.  The story goes that Brigham Young required the streets to be wide enough to turn around an ox drawn cart without having to back up.

I worked in the pizza delivery business for 15 years before becoming a teacher.   Delivering to homes here, especially in Salt Lake City proper, is a breeze.  Almost all the streets run directly east-west and north-south; it’s a perfect grid.  The streets are named by the number of blocks they are away from Temple Square (the official center of the city).  In the picture above is the intersection at Fourth South and Second East (also called 400 South and 200 East) and is exactly 2 blocks east and 4 blocks south of the SW corner of Temple Square.

Even streets with actual names have both a name and a coordinate (ie: Vista View Drive, 2950 East).  Houses are numbered to match the grid.  992 So would be between 9th South and 10th South, close to the latter.

I love teaching about the coordinate plane here because I can ask a student their address and, if they know their street’s numbers, I can point, say “You live about 5 blocks in that direction” and amaze them.  Until I teach them the trick.


Lisa Shafer said...

Yeah, I thought Utahns were bad drivers too -- until I drove in Ireland.

Nice post. :)

Alexia said...

Numbered streets are a rarity in this country. They do make things simpler though - it's easy to find your way around.
I like the wavy effect of the trolley lines in the first picture.

Bob Scotney said...

Glad to see some streets have names; coordinates may be practical but aren't very attractive. Is it my imagination but is the car in the second picture going in the wrong direction judging by the red traffic light?

Max Sartin said...

Bob - the car just looks like it's on the wrong side of the road because of the angle I took the picture from. And I agree with you on the street name thing. Most of the streets have names, the coordinates are smaller and under the names. It's mostly just the main arteries that primarily referred to by their numbers.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

So....twistly little streets with quaint little names aren't suited for deliveries!

Very nice shots, Max.

Michèle Dextras said...

Cities in western Canada such as Edmonton, Alberta used a similar grid, and I must admit it is easier to find your way around. Great representation Max!

Karen S. said...

What a happy, pleasant trip along your city streetscapes. Especially the one where I'm still wondering how, or rather where you shot it from!

Max Sartin said...

Karen: the daylight ones I took from on top of the Public Library, they have a stairway to a patio up there. The sunset one I took from on top of the East High bleachers.

Aunt Snow said...

Seattle/King County has a very interesting numbering system for its streets and avenues. If you don't get it, it will confuse you, but once you get it, it makes perfect sense. It sounds like SLC is like that, too! Nice shots!

Gilly said...

I always love seeing pics of where other people live, and these are great! But do those very wide streets divide the town into - I won't say ghettos, because that is too severe, but I can't think of another word! Classy and non-classy areas perhaps??

Good library to visit, though!