Saturday, June 17, 2006

Upland, CA: Proud to offer public disservice!

Today, Erin hired me to video record a friend's wedding while she was at her sister's graduation. The church was a short drive from Erin's mom's house in Rancho Coucamonga through Upland to Ontario. Only three major streets were needed to direct me to my destination: Carnelian, Baseline, and Euclid. I found my way to the church without any problems. But on the way back I could not find Baseline again. I just kept travelling north up the hill, and in Upland the hill just gets steeper. I knew I had gone too far, but where did I go wrong? Apparently Upland decided to only list the name 16th Street instead of Baseline, which is how it's named everywhere else.

What is the point of a street name? It's to help non-locals navigate around town more easily. What do locals care about street names, they know where they're going already. So to create street names is a public service, and names should remain consistent for the general public.

When I lived in Saipan there were no street names whatsoever. My home address was "Across the street from the Dan Dan Shell Station". Dan Dan was the area of the island, and the Shell gas station was a common landmark. But when the island was only 13 miles North-South by 5 miles East-West you knew how to get places within a week. No road names necessary. (Saipan is the capital of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. They are a protectorate of the United States. They speak English and use US currency. If you wanted to know.)

When I lived in Georgia the roads were frustrating there as well. Whenever you travelled between cities the road name would change. Who designed this system. It doesn't work. Let's tear it down and start from scratch. Let's use names that we can pronounce unlike Cohuenga, and who was Lankershim anyway? If a road goes between here and Prince Edward Island, let's just give it one name. No memorial highways, in 50 years nobody will care who that person was. Roads should be easily understood by the general public, heck we're paying for it.


Jay said...

Here, here.

I kinda like the Lancaster formula, they use a grid. People say stuff like "I live at J-10, and everyone knows exactly where it is. Its like battleship.

I need to show you the picture I took of an intersection in Colorado. Three streets on the sign: Heatherton Pl., Heatherton Cir., and Heatherton Dr. I refuse to move to that neighborhood strictly on grounds of the complication to my life when I try to give people directions.

Anonymous said...

Joshua, You made me laugh and recognize you are a lover of trivia like me. Such a great dialog of street names. Happy Fathers Day. See I'm looking ahead. Love you two. MOM

Jenna Hoskinson said...

totally agree!!! it's even that way here in the OC. You know, like Baranca that has 3 different names depending on which city you're in. And isn't it funny how Jay and I used to live in costa mesa off of Newport and 17th, and now we live in Tusin close to Newport and 17th, but they're completely different streets? How does that work?! Jay's right, the Antelope Valley (Lancaster) formula may be boring, but it's really hard to get lost.

Erin said...

Just to confuse matters more, Base Line is sometimes written Baseline too.

Tara said...

I'm not trying to make NC sound even more like paradise than I already do, but from a person who gets lost very easily, Raleigh is surpisingly easy to navigate. Unless you try to get on the freeway. They have this freeway that goes in a circle called "the beltline" or 440. But sometimes the beltline goes east/west and sometimes it goes north/south. And then there's this whole inner beltline and outer beltline thing that confused matters even more. I pretty much try to avoid it at all costs.

Joshua said...

Interesting trivia about Interstates.

Odd numbered interstates run North-South. Even numbered interstates run East-West. Single and double digit interstates are the primary ones. Triple digit interstates connect to a related single or double digit interstate (eg. 405 connects to the 5 or 390 connects to the 90) Triple digit freeways are only seen near large city's as a way to go around the city, the main interstate goes through the city. (supposedly) If a triple digit interstate begins with an even number that means it will reconnect back to the originating interstate. If it begins with an odd number, it will never reconnect to the original interstate.

These rules only apply to Interstates and not regular state or federal numbered highways.

In most states, other than California, the exit numbers are in reference to how many miles into the state that you are. Starting from the south or eastern sides of the state depending on the direction of the highway.

I bet that's enough trivia for you.

Erin said...

Joshua, where do you get all of your random knowledge?

Joshua said...

Reader's Digest. They pack a lot of information in that tiny magazine!

Rachel said...

Upland is just pretentious, Joshua. And when traveling on 16th, you are very likely to get a speeding ticket before arriving at Campus. I can think of five tickets that happened on the same small stretch of road.

I messed up on the letters! Let me try again.