Last week we were out on a walk when a woman pulled over to ask us for directions. She was in the 500 block of 21st, but was looking for something in the 500 block of 21st East. Luckily after two and a half years of scanner duty, the particulars of street addresses is something we can speak pretty authoritatively on.
Here’s how it works:
- All direction prefixes and suffixes on addresses change when a street crosses a way, such as Denny Way, Yesler Way, and Broadway
- The named streets that run east/west become “East” when they cross east of Broadway, such as Cherry becoming East Cherry
- The north/south streets become suffixed with “South” when they are south of Yesler Way
- North/south streets become “East” when they cross Denny Way to the north
- East/west streets that are south of Yesler Way are prefixed with “South”
There’s lots of directions there, so here’s a graphical aid to help sort it out:
Here’s a few concrete examples:
- The McDonalds at 1300 Madison is west of Broadway
- The Bank of America at 1300 E. Madison is east of Broadway
- Garfield High School is at 400 23rd Ave (plain), which is north of Yesler and south of Denny Way
- The Washington Mutual near Jackson is at 400 23rd Ave S., which south of Yesler
- The Miller Park Community Center is at 400 19th Ave E., which is north of Denny
And finally, if you’re calling 911 and you live on a street without directions, make it clear to the operator by telling them you live on [street name] “Plain”, such as “23rd Avenue Plain”.