Street Names. Love Em or Hate Em?

I grew up in Fort St. John, which means that for my whole life I grew up with all the roads having numbers, but only one or two having names. You don’t need an encyclopedic knowledge of the layout of the town in order to know where something is. 100 is the center of town, and the numbers either go up or down from there. When someone tells you their address, you can tell based on the number where they live. 9807 100 ave means it’s down 100th, around 98th street, and it’s number 7 on that block. Easy.

Then you go to a place like Calgary and the address says “4560 Princess Crescent” like… That’s not a number. I don’t even know what QUADRANT of the city that is. So you ask how exactly you get there, and the response is “well you turn left at Rupert’s Road, then turn right at Avalon Street, and when you get to Toad’s Turnpike, it’s the third left after that.” Like… none of that means anything to me. I’ve heard from lots of people from cities with road names that “oh you get used to it after a while” but like that’s so bad for tourism. If I have to pull out a map or a GPS just to find where WalMart is, you’re doing your road system wrong.

Then there’s the issue of “Turn right at Rupert” and if I don’t know where that is, I’m going to have to slow down enough to read each road sign on every single street just to know which one I’m supposed to turn on. When I’m driving into GP, and I have to turn on 97th, I can see a sign saying “110” and know that I’ve still got a little ways to go. With a named street, it could literally be 2km from here, or the next turn, and I’d have no way of knowing. Then of course you get the awkward situation where someone tells you where they live, and you have to ask “oh, what part of town is that?” Like… when you tell me your address, I should just know where it is. I’ve never needed someone to tell me specific directions to their house if they lived within city limits, unless they were worried I didn’t know what “82A street” means.

Yes sure, eventually I might figure out what the names of the main streets are, but every time I have somewhere new I’m going, like if I’m meeting a new friend at their house, even if I’ve lived in the city for decades, there’s no way I’m gonna have an encyclopedic knowledge of all the different street names and locations. Maybe I’m totally crazy for feeling this way about this, but I’ve just always felt that numbers instead of names made more sense. Like maybe give your most important roads alternate names, but for the most part, just keep it simple.