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You are watching: How many street blocks in a mile

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This mainly I originally planned a double column, yet I am pushing the answer to a "shocking" concern to next week. This particular day I am comment a inquiry from Hollie who wrote:

Q: I have actually heard many theories about how plenty of city blocks equates to one mile -- anywhere from eight come twelve blocks per mile. And, some human being say that as soon as you obtain to the north side the proportion is various than the is downtown. So, how plenty of city blocks equal one mile in Chicago, and does the ratio change with what area that the city you space in?

Thanks, Hollie, for the question. The general ascendancy is eight blocks equal a mile, detailed you space counting the next of the block that is 660 feet lengthy rather than the 330 foot side. However why is this true?

Chicago was planned on a grid device with every grid measure one square mile. Eight standard city block fit in ~ a grid, although numerous times this blocks are further subdivided (such together in the downtown area) which can seem to litter off the eight block rule. So, quite than counting each and also every block, the easiest method to measure your street is to overview yourself through the city"s number is numbered system.

A standard city block in Chicago has 100 potential resolve numbers. Adhering to the grid system, then, one mile equates to 800 numbers. So, here"s just how it works:

Many of Chicago"s major streets signify either a fifty percent mile or mile mite on the grid. The starting point for Chicago"s numbering device is the intersection of State and Madison in the Loop. Traveling north from this intersection, the an initial half mile allude is Kinzie, which is 400 north (half of 800, gain it?). You"ll have actually traveled a mile once you reach Chicago avenue (800 North). Utilizing this formula, figuring the end the remainder of the fifty percent mile and also mile streets is pretty easy. Continuing north, the following markers are department (1200 N), north Ave. (1600 N), Armitage (2000 N), Fullerton (2400 N), etc.

The same dominion holds true if you room traveling east and west. Going east, the an initial half mile street is King Dr. In ~ 400 East, and the an initial mile street is cottage Grove at 800 East. Traveling west native State and Madison, the streets incorporate Stewart Ave. (400 W), Halsted (800 W), Racine (1200 W), Ashland (1600 W), etc.

One notable exception is straight south the Madison where a number is numbered discrepancy exists because that the an initial three mile south. Instead of 800 South, the first "mile" street south of Madison is Roosevelt at 1200 South. The second mile south is Cermak at 2200 South, and the 3rd mile is 31st Street (3100 S). ~ 31st, however, the 800 rule uses again, and also the following mile markers room at 39th, 47th, Garfield (5500 S), etc.

So, through performing some an easy arithmetic, figuring the end how far you"ve traveled in Chicago is a reasonably simple matter. In general, simply count how numerous "hundreds" you have traveled and also remember the eight hundreds equates to a mile.

I would love to get into the background of city planning in Chicago, yet that will need to be the subject of one more column.

Ask me a question. Now. Don"t make me come over there. Send your questions to librarian
mmsanotherstage2019.com and also it may be featured in a future column.