This European city center has no street names

Originally published at:


“Why change it just because some programmers can’t figure out how to put it into their database? Programmers have only been around for a few years. This city has been around for centuries.”

Nonsense, the world must adjust itself to the Procrustian bed laid out for it by entitled nerds. /s

Also, he should try Austin roads, which seem to be laid out by someone playing pick-up sticks on a network of wormholes that have since been removed.


Lots of European cities have street names on little blue signs mounted way up on the corners of old buildings so you can barely see them when walking; it’s much worse when you’re driving. And the streets often change names every few blocks.

The answer? Grid coordinates. “I meet you at 53°17’15”."


I gotta admit Austin roads suck. Every other city I lived in getting was relatively easy but here there’s no rhyme or reason for how it’s been developed. 2 Lane roads that abruptly go down to a single lane, awkward 5 way stops, 4 way stops with off set roads that make it seem like you’re going to drive into traffic, etc.


But I still haven’t found it, what I’m looking for that is…


Or just about any American suburb built in the last 40 years or so, where the street plans look they were drawn up by two-year-olds on crack.


I recently moved within Tijuana to an apartment owned by a friend of mine. When I went to change the Internet service, I found that the address is determined by a combination of the postal code, apt block number, and apt number. The complex goes by Los Porticos, but my section is called Agua Caliente. Street names don’t even enter into it.


Don’t knock 2yos, blame their training materials!


Tokyo doesn’t name residential streets, does it?
[ETA: Heh. Really should Watch TF Video before commenting; Tom does mention the chome system.]

And don’t think too hard about postal addresses in Venice (which isn’t something to do with the canals).


My first exposure to this type of “nameless streets” situation was when I studied abroad in San Juan, Costa Rica, and the address for our apartments was given as “75m west of Taco Bell” in a certain part of town.


Sounds about right, was the same when I lived in Venezuela

leaving satisfied

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That reminds me of a friend’s address in very rural Norway. If it was ‘Tveita 1725’ (it isn’t), that’d tell the postal service that the house is 17.25 km along the road from the post office towards Tveita (which is likely to be little more than a farm too).


I just left Costa Rica where I’ve been living for 2 years. The address system that they have there is crazy. My work office’s address is (translated from Spanish):

Past Multiplaza
200m past Flash Car
Turn right
Last building on the left
Costa Rica

Note: this is not directions to my office, but the official address. If you posted a letter to my office, that is what you’d have to write (though in Spanish).

The best part is that “Flash Car” (a car detailing shop) closed down 2 years ago. It no longer exists and has been replaced by a gas station.

All addresses in Costa Rica are like this, yet somehow Google maps and Waze is not confused. Though, apple maps and ordering Ubers are useless.

Fun stuff.

ETA: Fixed the address


Ha! I should have read this before I posted.

Boston is a mess outside of back bay, a rats nest of one ways, and a Washington st which is officially contiguous but actually changes streets more than once, and manages to circle the city in a ridiculous zigzag. AFAIK all the streets are named, but quite a few don’t have signs.

I drove a moving truck around that city for years, prior to that drove all over as a cable tech. I would be just fine with never driving there again (tho I doubt I’ll be so lucky.)


When my wife moved to Austin, I tried to explain to here that 1) the roads are not at all gridlike – more like a field of Riemannian triangles – for reasons going back to survey methods used under the encomienda system, and 2) everything has multiple names.

When she asked what road we were on, I told her it was Research Blvd, which was then incorporated into the later construction of US-183.
“Got it. Fred. What’s that street?”
“Capital of Texas highway, later integrated into TX-360”
“Got it. Ginger. When I tell you I’m near Fred and Ginger, meet me here.”

I have to admit, an effective way to cut the Gordian knot, as I was the only one she was going to need to talk to about street names for a while. So in that same spirit: name the streets whatever you want in Google Maps. The Germans will learn to accept it eventually.


Ah, one of my favorite Greek myths from childhood. Why my parents let me read it before bedtime, I’ll never know. :grimacing: