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  1. Is that a reference to Jewelers’ Row on Wabash Street in downtown Chicago? Or do they have one in Pittsburgh, too?

    • Dr. Boli says:

      In Pittsburgh the jewelry district is in the block-long Clark Building and the surrounding streets. But the West End (founded long ago as Temperanceville) is always aiming at becoming the next artsy neighborhood, and it is stuffed full of Wabash Streets.

      • Heh. Chicago got rid of most, but not all, such confusing intersections almost a century ago. A certain process server was finding it difficult to deliver subpoenas and foreclosure notices due to Chicago’s confusing “let the developer who builds a neighborhood name all the streets with no central oversight” street-naming system. So he painstakingly worked out a scheme to rename a few hundred streets and rationalize the house-numbering system, and it was more or less adopted wholesale by the city council over several years. We do still have an intersection of Wacker Drive and Wacker Drive downtown, however.

        • Dr. Boli says:

          Pittsburgh has two unrelated sets of numbered streets and one set of numbered avenues (“numbered” if you remember that the count goes First, Allies, Third, Fourth, Forbes, Fifth, Oliver, Sixth, Seventh). The numbered avenues collide randomly with one set of numbered streets downtown, so that, for example, if you cross Liberty Avenue from Sixth Avenue, you end up on Seventh Street. There is also a Second Avenue that begins underneath the Boulevard of the Allies and meanders along the Monongahela for a while, with no other numbered avenues in sight, and Fifth Avenue straggles way out into the rich neighborhoods of the East End. This system is actually the product of our various attempts at rationalization over the years, beginning in colonial times with a very rational Enlightenment-era city plan that attempted to stuff a grid into a triangle. You must remember as well that the city of Pittsburgh is a very small part of the urban area, and that some of the surrounding boroughs also have numbered streets or avenues.

          Atlanta has the most rational street-naming system of all cities. Every major street is named Peachtree, eliminating all possible confusion.

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