Monday, June 06, 2005

Salt Lake City Driving

If you've never driven in Salt Lake City then you have no idea how confusing the numbering scheme of the roads is. I learned today, when I got lost twice in both directions in the midst of a driving rain storm. I should have remembered this from some Southern Idaho towns I've also been lost in, but in Salt Lake City all the roads emanate from, and are numbered according to, the Temple in the center of town. But the trouble begins if you don't start from the Temple (which I didn't), and you're thrust into a complicated morass of streets with very long numbers and addresses like: 3900 West 5400 South. It took me more than a few tries in my childhood to remember which streets and avenues went north and which went south on the island of Manhattan, and apparently my directional synapses haven 't matured at all since then.

Complicating all this is when you ask a local for directions, and they turn you around and direct you to "5th". And you drive away, not finding 5th in multiple back and forths, and stop again elsewhere (now late for your meeting). Then someone tells you that "5th" is short-hand for "500 Street", a fact that no one bothered to tell me earlier when directions were given. Arrrgh!

More business meetings tomorrow, and since Yahoo Maps failed me this morning with an errantly named street in the middle of the rest of my complete befuddlement, I may go pre-drive my meeting at 5:30 am.

5 comments:

amyrebba said...

Never been to Salt Lake city, but Spokane is bad enough. I know what it's like to get lost on your way to a meeting. Good luck on the next one.

Word Tosser said...

Getting directions can be hard on the nerves...
In Maine, it is ...you go down a fur piece to the red barn and turn left, then another fur piece to the broken fence. Trouble is fur piece can be 5 blocks or 15 miles. lol...
And I really love the ones that tell you... well, you can't get there from here... Meaning you have to travel down about 10 blocks to be able to cut across to head back the other direction.
I want one of those things on the dash that tells you what street is coming up and how many more blocks before you have to turn. lol

Mike said...

I knew things were different when I moved to Idaho in 1991 and got directions to make a delivery somewhere and the woman on the phone said: "when you see the two barking dogs by the pond turn left".

Wow - and sure enough the dogs were there and her directions were great!

Kerri Thoreson said...

Mike, my flight attendant daughter has been based in Salt Lake City for two years and despite numerous visits I'm no closer to understanding the logic of their street grid. The best way is to get a sense of north/south/east/west and just head in the general direction of your destination. LOL!

Mike said...

Kerri - that's my problem - I'm directionally challenged! Your daughter must be a genius - next time I'm there I'll call for a support group of lost puppies.