The Street System in Washington, DC

Here's more information about the street system in Washington DC.

In the District of Columbia, streets run three ways - east to west, north to south, and diagonally. The streets running north to south are numbered (i.e. 10th Street, 14th Street), while the streets running east to west are alphabetized (i.e. K Street, F Street). Diagonal streets are given names of states. (i.e. Connecticut Avenue)

The alphabetical names for the streets going east to west start at the East Capitol Street and the National Mall - East Capitol Street starts at the United States Capitol Building and goes straight to the East, whereas the National Mall is a park that extends West from the United States Capitol. (Click the National Mall node for more information). The first street in the designation is A Street, and the streets ascend alphabetically in both the North and the South to B, C, and so on through Y. There is no J Street, no X Street, and no Z Street, (Despite popular belief that there is indeed a Z Street) and instead of I Street, the street name is shown as Eye Street. When they run out of characters of the alphabet to name the streets, they'll use two syllable names, three syllable names, and eventually they'll use names of trees and flowers. This system is referred to the first, second and third alphabets sometimes.

The numerical names of the streets start from the North and South Capitol Streets, where North Street extends North from the United States Capitol, and South Street extends... you guessed it, South from the United States Capitol. The numbers ascend numerically in both East and West directions, from 1st Street on.

The streets are also identified by where they are in relation to the United States Capitol building. That is, if North, South and East Capitol Streets and the National Mall divide Washington, DC into four quadrants, then the streets in each quadrant are named for the quadrant they reside in, whether it is in the Northwest, the Southwest, the Northeast, or the Southeast from the Capitol. For example: E Street NW, E Street NE, E Street SW, E Street SE.