Ok, it has happened again, and I just have to say something.
If you are giving someone directions, please use the name of the street that appears on a map like maps.google.com or mapquest.com.
I have run into this many times by people who have been around an area for a long time and by traffic announcers. When I first moved here, I had no idea that route 562 was the Norwood Lateral. Back then the exit sign over the freeway only had route 562 on it. All maps used route 562, but the traffic guy said Norwood Lateral. If you aren’t from around here, the alternate name doesn’t help much.
At least in Indiana we actually name the road “Old 231 South”. That’s the name of the old road, seriously. The new road is simply called “231 South”.
Here in Cincinnati we have a marathon called “The Flying Pig Marathon”. When the marathon runs, they close off a bunch of streets for the runners.
We also have an ECHL hockey team called the Cincinnati Cyclones. Our Cyclones are the best professional sports team in Cincinnati.
Normally, I have no idea when the marathon is running as I don’t participate or care to go down and watch a bunh of sweaty people run by. I just don’t get the spectator part. This year has changed all of this.
On Wednesday we found out that the Cyclones have progressed to the next round of the playoffs and that the next round starts Friday at home ice. Hooray!! On Thursday a note was placed on the Cyclones website stating some roads will be closed due to the marathon.
Now we are the type of people who literally take the same route to the parking garage and back out. So, I’m reading the text stating the road closure and it states the following:
“To allow for setup of the finish line, the following street will be closed on Friday April 30, 2010 at 7 AM until the race completion on Sunday May 2:
E Pete Rose Way- from Broadway to Old Broadway. One southbound lane of Old Broadway will be maintained coming off Ramp LL from Second Street. A detour will be in place directing motorists back to E Pete Rose Way.”
OK cool! Not being well versed in the streets downtown, I took a look at maps.google.com. Hmmm…no Old Broadway. So, I tried mapquest.com. Hmmm…not there either.
I took a hard look at the map and took a guess as to where it was based on the information, but decided to check with the powers that wrote the above road closure to try and get them to understand that using a street name that is no longer in use doesn’t help people who try to help themselves.
I wrote a very nice e-mail simply asking where Old Broadway was located and I gave our usual route to and from the Cyclones arena. I was extremely polite, but by the same token by sending the e-mail I was hoping to trigger that using an old street name makes work for you.
I received a very nice reply and the guy even included a screen shot of downtown Cincinnati with the old street names over the streets. He gave me the route I needed to take to and from the arena. Nice job Cincinnati on that hire!
What I am trying to get across is when writing directions, giving traffic reports, or giving out road closures, think of your audience. It might be better to do something like “Second Street E (Old Broadway)” in your notes to handle the case of existing and new people to the area. New people can look up the road based on the new name and existing people will simply know where it is.