The streets of confusion: Midwest style

Screen shot of my commute?

Google Maps screenshot

The Girl with Moxie just reminded me about something in the Midwest that confuses me…your street names. More specifically here in the Twin Cities, the 35 freeways.

For those of you unfamiliar, there are two 35 freeways: I-35 E and I-35W. Now, my brain says that these are east and west, respectively. Not much of a problem until you realize that these suckers run NORTH AND SOUTH.

So, here I am already confused because there are no mountains in the west nor ocean in the east to help me with my bearings. Now we’ve got I-35 E north and I-35E south.

What?

Am I heading east or south?

How did I end up in Iowa?

Then we have the 94s. There’s I-94, which I hate because it’s always freaking crowded. Then there’s something called 494 and 694. I don’t think I’ve ever been on these two freeways since they tend to bound the Twin Cities on their northerly and southerly ends. I’m not sure which is which…yet. That’s what Google was made for anyway. These are less confusing than their E/W brethren. I’m used to adding a number onto a main interstate to create a small one that connects it to others. In the Bay Area there was I-80, where it ended, but there was also I-280, I-680, I-580, and I-380. The funny thing about I-380 is that it pretty much just connects I-280 and Highway 101. It’s barely a mile long.

One good thing about the Twin Cities, there’s the Mississippi River. I know when I’m east of it, I’m in Saint Paul. When I’m west of it, I’m in Minneapolis. Other than that, I need to learn more landmarks to better know where the hell I am and where I need to go.

4 thoughts on “The streets of confusion: Midwest style

  1. John

    Let’s see; 35E lies to the east of 35W, and 35W lies west of 35E. 494 rims the south side and 694 rims the north side. (I-10 is the southern most Interstate and the numbers get bigger going north.) It’s not that difficult, but a portion of Minneapolis, including Dinkytown, actually lies east of the Mississippi. Now that one is tough

    Reply
    1. Amy Ruiz Post author

      It’s the 35s that confuse me the most. 35E should run east in my head, not north & south, same with 35W, even though I know the odd numbered interstates run north/south. The 494, 694 freeways I’d figure out with time.

      Reply

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