Saturday, June 18, 2005

The A, AA, B, BB, C, and CC's of Traveling in Missouri

I’m planning a little trip to Missouri this weekend. I have already discussed the Missouri Highway Department’s odd convention of making the profile of the state fatter to accommodate 3-digit road numbers (see Thursday, May 26, 2005). Their main state highways do indeed have numbers, of one, two, or three digits. The secondary state highways, however, are assigned either one or two letters. What is unusual about their system is that the letters are not unique to a specific highway – there can be a Highway A in one county and a completely different Highway A in another county, with no connection whatsoever between the two.

For my little trip, I need to get from I-70 to Dutzow, a distance of about 20-some miles. Dutzow is a very picturesque little town. The streets in the half of it that sits up on the Missouri River bluff are named First Street, Second Street, Third Street, etc. The streets in the half that sit below the bluff are named One Street, Two Street, Three Street, etc. It’s a place you just have to love for that bit of insanity alone.

There are several routes that I can take from I-70 to reach Dutzow. I can take T to TT. Can you see where this is going? I could also go Z to D to T to TT. A third possibility, and my favorite, is DD to D to T to TT. Try saying that three times fast! I could just kiss the folks at MODOT all over! In the Fall, a terrific route south of the Missouri River to see the color of the leaves is KK to C to YY to Y to ZZ to CC. In Missouri, more than half the fun of getting there is giving the directions.

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