Getting Around Town: A Basic Grid Lesson

By Rita Knight-Gray, Host Committee member

Cleveland is designed within a grid system. Avenues like Euclid, Superior, St. Clair, Lakeside, Prospect, Payne, and Carnegie travel east to west. (Once you travel west across the Cuyahoga River, Superior becomes Detroit and Carnegie becomes Lorain.) Streets are in consecutive number order and travel from north (from Lake Erie) to the south. However, if you visit one of the suburbs, all bets are off as to where the various roads are called avenues versus streets.

A building with a 2- or 3-digit address (55 to 775) on West 6th  Street or East 6th Street is close to the lake and located around Lakeside Avenue or any avenue that is close to the lake.  When the building addresses goes higher — like 1800, 2040 or 3000 — on a numbered street, it is in the area of an avenue away from the lake, like Carnegie (west side Lorain) or Superior (west side Detroit). The addresses on buildings located on avenues are related to the numbered street they are near: for example, the address for Cleveland Public Library’s two buildings is 325-525 Superior Avenue and is located between East 3rd and East 6th streets.

Frantz Pastorius Blvd, Ontario Street (two of the few named streets) north of Public Square is the East and West divide of the city.  So if you exit the Renaissance near the garage, the street that runs directly into it is West 3rd. DON’T PANIC: you are not completely on the west side.  Walk down to the next major intersection St. Clair Avenue, turn right, walk another block to the Global Center on Ontario Avenue, next street is the back side of the Convention Center.  You can take Frantz Pastorius Blvd or the Public Hall pathway to the front entrance on Lakeside Ave.

The takeaway: a building with 2- or 3-digit address is close to Lake Erie, and the address of a building located on an avenue (east-west) is related to the numbered streets (north-south).

Now that you are totally confused, hopefully this downtown map will help with illustrate the explanation. The map is reproduced below (courtesy of ThisIsCleveland.com), without the legend. To view the legend identifying the numbered locations, view the original (printable PDF) map. Click on the map image to enlarge it:

Downtown Cleveland map (courtesy of ThisIsCleveland.com)
Downtown Cleveland map (courtesy of ThisIsCleveland.com)

When you fly into Cleveland via Hopkins, you can reach the Renaissance Hotel or downtown Cleveland without going outside by taking the Rapid, the Red Line transit train, from within the airport to the terminal tower downtown Cleveland for $2.50. But if you have too many bags or you don’t want people invading your space, take a cab or call Uber.

Trolley system map, courtesy of RideRTA (click to enlarge)
Trolley system map, courtesy of RideRTA (click to enlarge)

A FREE TROLLEY  covers downtown Cleveland from Prospect Ave to Euclid Ave from Cleveland State University to the Rock Hall. Did I mention FREE? This Free Trolley map (reproduced at left, click to enlarge) has information about schedules and routes.

Another inexpensive option for getting around downtown Cleveland is to borrow a bike via Zagster.

Please note: A number of construction projects are currently underway in downtown Cleveland. Additional details are forthcoming, but please plan to build a little extra time into your travels daily to and from your hotel, as well as to and from the conference center. 

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