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Getting Around In New York

 

For shorter distances, there is no better way of getting around New York than hitting the sidewalk. If you use the subway or buses, you will almost certainly need to walk to and from stations or stops. In all areas of New York a traveler is likely to visit, all streets have wide, smoothly paved sidewalks. For long distances, walking is also fine and a great way to see the city.

Most of Manhattan is oriented with streets running east - west and avenues running north - south. This makes it relatively easy to find your way. Both streets and avenues are numbered. Avenues are numbered low on the south end and get higher as you move north. Fifth Avenue divides Manhattan in half; addresses west of Fifth are written as, for example, 220 W. 34th Street, while those east of Fifth are written as 220 E. 34 Street. Because of this dual-numbering system, it is always advisable to keep in mind the closest intersection to your destination (6th Avenue and 34th Street, Broadway and 51st, etc.). In downtown Manhattan (generally considered as below Houston (HOW-ston) Street), all bets are off as streets meander, dead-end and intersect themselves.

As a convenient guide to distance, there are 20 blocks per mile along the avenues (walking North/South). The average person can walk roughly 1 block per minute. Walking East/West on the streets, the blocks are generally much longer.

Jaywalking is common. If you do not wish to jaywalk, be considerate of New Yorkers by not blocking them from crossing at an intersection while you are waiting for your signal. If you do jaywalk, driving is on the right-hand side of the road on two-way streets so remember to look left to check for on-coming traffic on your side of the road. Be aware that most streets are one way, so you may have to look right. Most New Yorkers who know which streets go which way will only look in the direction traffic is coming from rather than looking in both directions.

 


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