Understanding Road Marking in Kankakee and Iroquois Counties

Getting around in our area

x-y grid

Its a grid.
Remember the graphing you did in math? X and Y axis? One horizontal, one vertical? The point where they cross was called (0,0). (1,0) was the point one over to the right, and (1,1) was one over the the right and one up. Remember? And negative numbered points went left and down, like (-2,-3), was two to the left and 3 down? If you can remember or picture this grid, you can understand road numbering in Kankakee and Iroquois Counties. Kankakee County uses the whole grid with with the (0,0) point near it's approximate middle, and Iroquois County uses only the positive portion (upper right quadrant) with the (0,0) being at its Southwest corner.

Kankakee County Grid In Kankakee County, the (0,0) point is the intersection of Schuyler Avenue and Court Street. Court Street (State Route 17) is horizontal X axis and Schuyler (State Route 45 on the North side and 49 on the South) is the vertical Y axis. Compass directions are used instead of positive and negative points. Roads running North-South and West of Schuyler/45/49 (which is the Zero E/W Road) are called "West Roads" and road running East/West and south of Court Street/Rt 17 (the Zero N/S Road) "South Roads". All roads are numbered out and away from the (0,0) intersection with each mile being represented by 1000. A half mile would be represented by 500, so a road 2.5 miles West would be called the "2500 W. Rd." Splash Valley is on the road running East/West and 2 miles South of the (0,0) so its 911 (and corner signed) name is the "2000 S. Rd." A nice feature of the system is that you can know how far away you are from the (0,0) point by adding the numbers on the corner signs. If you are at the corner of the 12000 W Rd and the 4000 S Rd, you are 16 miles from (0,0).
Iroquois County Grid In Iroquois County, we use only the positive quadrant of the grid and start numbering in the Southwest corner of the county with each mile represented by 100. It has no West or South named Roads, only North and East. Iroquois County's Northern border is 34 miles North of its Southern border and so is called the "3400 N Rd." It is also Kankakee County's Southern border, so its Kankakee County name is "8000 S. Rd." Confusion may occur when traveling North and South between the counties because the road numbers will change. Kankakee County's 0 E/W Road is Iroquois County's 1400E Rd, and one more mile East, Kankakee County's 1000E Rd will line up with Iroquois County's 1500E Rd, while one mile to the West would be Kankakee County's 1000W Rd and Iroquois County's 1300E Road.

All above text was written by Mark Steffen, Event Chairman of the Two Rivers Century. Illustrations by Paul Laue.

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