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You are watching: How many city blocks are in a mile

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This mainly I originally planned a twin column, however I am pushing the answer to a "shocking" inquiry to following week. Now I am comment a inquiry from Hollie who wrote:

Q: I have heard numerous theories about how numerous city blocks equates to one mile -- anywhere from eight come twelve blocks per mile. And, some human being say that once you acquire to the north next the proportion is different than that is downtown. So, how many city blocks equal one mile in Chicago, and does the ratio change with what area that the city you are in?

Thanks, Hollie, for the question. The general dominance is eight blocks same a mile, listed you space counting the side of the block that is 660 feet long rather 보다 the 330 foot side. But why is this true?

Chicago to be planned ~ above a grid mechanism with each grid measure one square mile. Eight standard city blocks fit in ~ a grid, although countless times these blocks are further subdivided (such together in the downtown area) which deserve to seem to litter off the eight blocks rule. So, rather than count each and also every block, the easiest method to measure up your distance is to guide yourself through the city"s number is numbered system.

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

Many that Chicago"s major streets denote either a half mile or mile marker on the grid. The starting point because that Chicago"s numbering system is the intersection the State and Madison in the Loop. Traveling north from this intersection, the an initial half mile suggest is Kinzie, which is 400 north (half that 800, gain it?). You"ll have traveled a mile when you reach Chicago way (800 North). Utilizing this formula, figuring the end the remainder of the fifty percent mile and mile highways is pretty easy. Proceeding north, the following markers are division (1200 N), north Ave. (1600 N), Armitage (2000 N), Fullerton (2400 N), etc.

The same preeminence holds true if you are traveling east and west. Walking east, the an initial half mile street is King Dr. In ~ 400 East, and the first mile street is cottage Grove at 800 East. Travel west from State and also Madison, the streets encompass Stewart Ave. (400 W), Halsted (800 W), Racine (1200 W), Ashland (1600 W), etc.

One notable exception is straight south that Madison whereby a numbering discrepancy exists for the first 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 next mile markers are at 39th, 47th, Garfield (5500 S), etc.

So, by performing some simple arithmetic, figuring out how much you"ve travel in Chicago is a fairly simple matter. In general, simply count how countless "hundreds" you have actually traveled and remember that eight hundreds amounts to a mile.

I would certainly love to obtain into the history of metropolitan planning in Chicago, but that will need to be the topic of another column.

Ask me a question. Now. Don"t do me come over there. Send your concerns to librarian
historicsweetsballroom.com and also it might be featured in a future column.