# Police Officer Exam Cram: Applying Geographical Orientation to the Police Exam

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This chapter is from the book

## Basics of Street Layout

Before we get into the details of exam questions and approach you can take to maximize the score, let’s cover some basics of street layouts.

Most of the larger cities, and even smaller ones, are divided into grids. These grid lines are mostly city streets, dividing the city in small blocks. The street grid generally has a street that runs north and south and divides the city in east and west halves. Similarly, there is usually a street that runs east and west and divides the city into north and south halves. It is using these grid lines, or streets, that the street address numbering scheme is created. All the addresses that are located on the west side of the dividing line will have a west directional attribute associated with the address; for example, West 25th Street or West 19th Street. Similarly, the east side of the dividing line will have an east attribute associated with the address; for example, East Washington Street or East 42nd Street. The same principle is applied to north and south addresses.

Let’s take the grid organization a step further. In most major cities, if a street runs north and south, all the house or building addresses on the west side of the street are even numbers, and odd numbers are on the east side of the street. Similarly, if the street runs east and west, all the even addresses are on the north side of the street and odd addresses are on the south side of the street.

Let’s refer to the diagram in Figure 4.1 and apply the principles covered in the earlier paragraphs. This is a sample street layout we will use throughout this chapter. It is a six block street grid. Washington Street runs east to west and divides the grid into north and south quadrants. Meridian Street runs from north to south and divides the grid into east and west quadrants.

As you can see, Meridian Street runs north and south while dividing the sample city into east and west halves. Washington Street runs east and west, and divides the city into north and south halves, resulting in our four quadrants. That means all the residences or buildings that are east of Meridian Street will have an east attribute associated with the address and those houses and buildings that are south of Washington Street will have a south attribute associated with the address.