Not all cities are the same, but roads in Lincoln are primarily laid out in a grid pattern. Knowing the basics of the system can help in finding your way around town…and finding your way home if you get lost.
Numerical streets generally run north-south, while named streets generally run east-west. So, think of the city as a pie divided into four parts: east, west, north and south.
Any city map can show that the city is divided into north and south by “O” Street. So, an address on “N. 44th” is north of O and an address on “S. 44th” is south of O. The number before the street name can tell you how far north or south that location is. So, an address such as “2000 N. 44th” is about 1.5 miles north of “O” on 44th street. And address such as “4000 S. 44th” is about three miles south of “O” on 44th.
“O” street runs the entire length of the city, so any new driver in Lincoln should first learn how to get back and forth from O street to their home. The friendly people in Lincoln may not be able to give you directions to any destination, but they’ll likely know how to get to O Street. And if you know that, there’s nowhere in Lincoln you can’t explore.
The city is also divided into east and west by Salt Creek, which is near downtown. Numbered streets west of Salt Creek are either labeled NW (north of O) or SW (south of O), such as NW 25th (north of O and west of Salt Creek) or SW 33rd (south of O and west of Salt Creek).
But there are many roads that do not follow these conventions. Some slice through the city at odd angles, others wind around in several directions, and some might even change names. It’s easy to get turned around, confused and lost in some parts of the city.
Asking for directions, bringing a map and planning the route ahead of time are some ways to avoid this. More and more cell phones have GPS, driving directions and map applications that help with navigation. With tools like these, anyone can jump in the car a feel free to explore the city.
Getting lost is a good way to find new and interesting places, and if you know how get home from “O”, then you’ll always find your way home.