Which side of the street (in Seattle) is North?
February 15, 2017 1:40 PM   Subscribe

Seattle residents: in Belltown (and to a lesser extent downtown), the streets head from SW to NE and the avenues from NW to SE. Do people think of the streets as running east/west and the avenues as running north/south, as they do elsewhere? So for instance if I said, "the Northeast corner of 3rd and Vine", would most people understand which corner I was talking about? Thanks in advance!
posted by goingonit to Travel & Transportation around Seattle, WA (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Yes, I think of the avenues as running north/south even in the areas where the grid is "tilted" some other direction. So I would understand your meaning.
posted by mbrubeck at 1:46 PM on February 15, 2017 [3 favorites]

Best answer: Agreed. I would think of the Rite Aid being on the NW corner of 3rd and Vine, to follow your example.
posted by chillin411 at 1:50 PM on February 15, 2017 [2 favorites]

Best answer: +1. I lived in that exact area for a few years and that's how I think of it (in fact, if I picture the grid in my head, I see the avenues running directly north/south!).
posted by primethyme at 2:02 PM on February 15, 2017

Best answer: Yes. Not least because my orientation here is always that Canada is north of me, OregonCaliforniaMexico south, Puget Sound and the Pacific to my west and the rest of the U.S. to my east. That may not be exactly true at every point in Seattle but it is how it feels. It helps that sense that a lot of the city is laid out on a grid for which that is true, that is how Seattle in general looks on the map, and we tend to add ordinals to our streets like 2nd Ave S. that underlines that sense of direction.

In short, yes, use the corner directional designations and we'll all get it. I'm pretty sure that's how Metro sets forth where bus stops are here too.
posted by bearwife at 5:51 PM on February 15, 2017 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I have lived in Seattle for almost 4 years, and the north/south thing confounds me. I am from California originally, so to me, West = water, east =mountains, but here in Seattle, with the sound and the cascades I get mucho confused. Lots of transplants have comiserated with me over this, although maybe it was just because they didn't want to make the crazy lady with a broken sense of direction feel bad.
posted by pazazygeek at 6:42 AM on February 16, 2017

Best answer: Many years ago, I worked for the Sheriff's Office there and was taught "North and East are even". Even house numbers are typically on the North or East side of the street. Odd is typically West and South.

This logic does not work for spaghetti streets.
posted by jennstra at 7:48 AM on February 16, 2017

Response by poster: Thanks all! This is extremely helpful.
posted by goingonit at 8:02 AM on February 16, 2017

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