The Streets of Downtown Houston

Downtown Houston

Do you have all the one-way streets of downtown Houston memorized? Or do you simply wait for the arrows to tell you left or right? If you are lke most of us, you may know some to all the names, but you’d have to wait and see the arrow before you could tell a visitor which street goes left/right, north/south, east/west.

To be technical about it, Houston’s downtown doesn’t exactly run north/south in a way that’s solidly true to the magnetic north compass. Our north/south streets run more northeast/southwest – and our east/west avenues run more southeast/northwest. I choose to stay NSEW here for purposes of simplicity.

Looking at downtown area  strictly as the concentrated business district with all the skyscrapers that is bordered on the north by Buffalo Bayou, on the east by Chartres,  and at the south and west points of the compass points by the US 45 South and North freeway elevated bend around downtown, here is a  listing of the north/south, east/west major streets in the order of their appearance and with an easy to follow notation of the direction their traffics are set up to travel. Only two of the streets, Bagby and Main, are bi-directional.

The North/South Streets of Downtown Houston By Their Direction of Traffic (starting west and moving east)

Bagby (bi-d)

Smith (S)

Louisiana (N)

Milam (S)

Travis (N)

Main (bi-d)

Fannin (S)

San Jacinto (N)

Caroline (S)

Austin (N)

LaBranch (S)

Crawford (N)

Jackson (S)

Chenevert (N)

Hamilton (S)

(US 59 Freeway)

Chartres (N)

The East/West Streets of Downtown Houston By Their Direction of Traffic (starting north and moving south)

Commerce (W)

Franklin (E)

Congress (W)

Preston (E)

Prairie (W)

Texas (E)

Capitol (W)

Rusk (E)

Walker (W)

McKinney (E)

Lamar (W)

Dallas (E)

Polk (W)

Clay (E)

Bell (W)

Leeland (E)

Pease (W)

Jefferson (E)

St. Joseph Parkway (W)

Pierce (E)

Most of the streets are named for early Texas heroes, but how we missed out on prominent downtown streets named for Davy Crockett and James Bowie is beyond me. Even Allen Parkway, a late after-thought renaming of “Buffalo Drive” in favor of the Allen Brothers as Houston Founders loses its identity once it reaches the downtown area.

At any rate, these are the ones we have, along with the directions they travel. If you would like further information and more ongoing data on street construction effecting downtown travel, check out this website for further ongoing advisories. You know you’re not in downtown Houston unless you encounter some section of road way that’s been torn asunder for your travel inconvenience – and this place is designed to help you get advance word on routes to most avoid.

http://www.downtownstreets.com/

SAN JACINTO DAY CELEBRATION IS TODAY, SATURDAY, APRIL 16TH! Have a nice weekend, everybody. If you read this article early enough, don’t forget the big San Jacinto Day celebration at the San Jacinto Battlegrounds this Saturday, April 16th. April 21st is the actual 175th anniversary date in 2011 of the battle that won Texas its independence from Mexico, but that historic 18-minute  battle will be reenacted today ay the battlegrounds at 3:00 PM.

Long Live Texas!


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