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Las Vegas is laid out in a grid, with most streets meeting at 90 degree intersections.  They either run North – South or East – West, and most do not change names.  Tropicana is Tropicana from 10000 West to 10000 East.  Rainbow is Rainbow from 10000 North to 10000 South. This greatly simplifies navigation.  A notable exception is Rancho Road, which runs diagonally from Northwest to Southeast.

Back East, in older cities like Boston, this is not true.  These cities just grew at random rather than being planned. So a street might 4 different names in just 3 miles.

Streets end in abbreviations:  Street – St.,  Boulevard – Blvd., Avenue – Ave, Lane – Ln, Road – Rd and Court – Ct.   So Cimmarron Ln is a different street from Cimarron Rd, but probably nearby.

Major North – South Streets

Fort Apache/Rampart, Durango, Rainbow, Jones, Decatur, Valley View, Maryland Parkway, Eastern, Pecos, Lamb, & Nellis

Major East West Streets 

Ann, Craig, Alexander, Gowan, Cheyenne, Lake Mead, Charleston, Sahara, Spring Moutain, Flamingo, Tropicana, & Russell


To really learn the roads you must first turn off your phone when a passenger (gasp!) and watch the signs.  Have your parents quiz you on what road you are on and in what direction you are traveling.  The correct answer is never: “straight.”

You also need to buy a primitive visual aid at your corner convenience store, (or free from AAA) called a map. This “map” device folds out to show the entire city, in colors with letters across the top and numbers down the side to locate streets. No batteries required!   Do this at home, not while driving!

Next highlight the following locations:  your house, UNLV, McCarran Airport, Nellis AFB, the Stratosphere tower, and your school.  Then figure out how to get to these locations from your home, using both the freeways and surface streets.  This will quickly build a mental map of the city in your head, and help you always stay on course.

Drive safely and happy motoring!

Author Dennis Jantz

Senior Instructor

Instructor and Office Administrator

Frankie works and karaoke's in Las Vegas but his out-of-doors-heart is still out East. Born in Boston, Frankie loves the snow and mountains. As an avid snowboarder, Frankie has never seen a snow day he didn't LOVE! A graduate from…Read More