Getting Around in Santa Fe - June 9, 2011

"I have always been directionally challenged."

I have always been directionally challenged. Seriously challenged. My bad sense of direction is inherited from my mom who was always getting lost. My brother is worse then me.

So the thought of getting around a new city in my car is daunting, to say the least. . .even Santa Fe, small as it is compared to Denver.

Usually when I visit my daughter she does the driving. But the last time a month ago after she had her baby, I was there to help, and help meant going to Whole Foods and other stores—a lot.

At first she or her partner had to write down directions. Really. But now I’m getting it. St. Francis Dr. is really 285 and runs north-south. Agua Fria and Cerrillos Rd. cut through the city and are the main drags to get anywhere. Cerrillos Rd. is just like Colorado Blvd. in Denver. . .lots of commercial and chains. In fact, it could be Any Street, USA. Osage from Agua Fria become St. Michael’s and goes south. See? Easy.

The best part about driving in SF? The signs along the main streets that tell you which cross street is coming up next. Brilliant! Whoever in the road department thought those up was thinking of people like me. These signs give me the heads-up to get in the proper lane for turning since I don’t know the order of the streets yet. And they are big, not just little tags that you can’t see. And important.

I’m sure these signs prevent lots of accidents from people switching lanes at the last minute—they have to. Locals probably don’t even notice them since they know their streets; but trust me, for those of us learning our way around the city or who are directionally challenged, they are a huge help.

Thank you Santa Fe road department or whoever you are!

PS - This woman driver would appreciate any driving tips on navigating The City Different.