Author Topic: How far is a block??  (Read 6605 times)

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Offline oldbiker

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How far is a block??
« on: November 11, 2009, 04:49:32 AM »
In films and books I often see reference to " a couple of blocks away".
So, for this poor old Limey. just how far is a block?  50 yards, 100 yards???? ??? ??? ???



Offline Holubs

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Re: How far is a block??
« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2009, 05:05:10 AM »
A US city block is typically 1/8 mile long.

Most cities that I have been in on the sunny isle aren't setup to that convention.
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Offline mick7504

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Re: How far is a block??
« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2009, 05:35:02 AM »
I really don't know that "a block" has ever been a predetermined measurement.
I've always thought that it was just a figure of speech.
"To go around the block" always meant to me that you would ride/walk/drive around the streets that were the boundary of a group of houses.
We used to say when we were kids that we'd do a blocky on our bikes which meant a lap around the neighborhood.
Or take the dog for a walk around the block.
Another strange use of the word is "doing your block"
(Losing your temper, spitting the dummy, carrying on like an epileptic rooster)
Never been able to work out what your block is.  ???  Although I have done it!!!
« Last Edit: November 11, 2009, 05:51:25 AM by mick7504 »
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Offline azuredesign

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Re: How far is a block??
« Reply #3 on: November 11, 2009, 06:03:26 AM »
if you lived in NYC, wouldn't a block be the distance on 2nd Ave between 9th and 10th street, or if you were on a street, say 23rd, between 7th and 8th Ave?



Offline Raul CB750K1

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Re: How far is a block??
« Reply #4 on: November 11, 2009, 06:35:56 AM »
if you lived in NYC, wouldn't a block be the distance on 2nd Ave between 9th and 10th street, or if you were on a street, say 23rd, between 7th and 8th Ave?

That's what I understand.

Anyway, when a distance is given in blocks, it means it is at walking distance, otherwise it would be given in miles or time. By the way, blocks in NYC are indeed big, 8 blocks walking may mean a good walk.



Offline 74cb750

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Re: How far is a block??
« Reply #5 on: November 11, 2009, 06:46:20 AM »
So,
what is a blockhead?
 ???
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Offline mick7504

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Re: How far is a block??
« Reply #6 on: November 11, 2009, 06:51:01 AM »
So,
what is a blockhead?
 ???
I'm led to believe that it is one made of wood  ;)  ;D
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Offline tortelvis

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Re: How far is a block??
« Reply #7 on: November 11, 2009, 09:23:45 AM »
How long is a piece of string?



Online DukieDukenDuke

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Re: How far is a block??
« Reply #8 on: November 11, 2009, 09:28:35 AM »
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/City_block

Since the spacing of streets in grid plans varies so widely among cities, or even within cities, it is impossible to generalize about the size of a city block. However, as reference points, the standard block in Manhattan is about 264 by 900 feet (80 m × 274 m); and in some U.S. cities standard blocks are as wide as 660 feet (200 m). While for example, the city blocks in the central city grid of Melbourne, Australia are 200 by 100 metres (660 ft × 330 ft).

Looks like the city block is more an area measurement and differs wherever you go, I thought it was more of a linear measurement.
 
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Offline BobbyR

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Re: How far is a block??
« Reply #9 on: November 11, 2009, 10:20:33 AM »
It would vary here in NY where the saying originated. In Manhatten the blocks are fairly evenly sapced. In the outer Bouroughs it can vary quite a bit. The blocks are rectangles so they are not an even dimesnion on all sides.

Then we would say long or short blocks. "having been around the block" can be a positive or negative. For a guy it means street smarts. For a girl it means she has be used a bit.

Each block can be a community unto itself. You and others may not be welcome on each other's blocks.
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Offline MCRider

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Re: How far is a block??
« Reply #10 on: November 11, 2009, 10:30:29 AM »
In films and books I often see reference to " a couple of blocks away".
So, for this poor old Limey. just how far is a block?  50 yards, 100 yards???? ??? ??? ???

http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_are_Dimensions_of_a_US_city_block

In the strictest sense, it is 1/8 mile. But in practice it is relative to whatever city you are gauging against...and where. Hence the discrepancies.  

In Indianapolis, the city founders stuck with the 1/8 miles in the beginning as this city was "planned" from the start. But as you get away from the initial planning, the blocks length start to vary. So out in the boonies you say 2 blocks, and you mean from 71st street to 73rd street, however far that may be, thoough it likely wouldn't be more than 1/2 mile.

Downtown it is still 10 th street to 12th street, but you can be pretty sure its 1/4 mile.
« Last Edit: November 11, 2009, 10:33:25 AM by MCRider »
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Offline Gordon

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Re: How far is a block??
« Reply #11 on: November 11, 2009, 02:22:26 PM »
How long is a piece of string?

Best answer! +++

The length of a block depends on where you (or the person talking to you) currently resides.  Some places, many suburban, have long blocks and short blocks. 



Offline The_Crippler

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Re: How far is a block??
« Reply #12 on: November 11, 2009, 02:39:16 PM »
In the strictest sense, it is 1/8 mile.

You definition is a very good one, and what I would have gone with.  Yes, blocks can be very regular in a planned city...so long as that city isn't Pittsburgh...We're not set up on a Roman grid - we're a triangle.



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Re: How far is a block??
« Reply #13 on: November 11, 2009, 03:52:21 PM »
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Offline BobbyR

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Re: How far is a block??
« Reply #14 on: November 11, 2009, 04:11:41 PM »
I had to look it up:

A standard NYC block north of 14th Street is 1/5 of a mile on the
East/ West axis by 1/20 of a mile on the North/ South axis. So now you know why cab fares are based on 1/5 of a mile.
Below 14th street there are no standard blocks and the further south you go the more variations you encounter
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Offline mcuozzo

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Re: How far is a block??
« Reply #15 on: November 11, 2009, 06:08:33 PM »
Thanks BobbyR, you saved me the trouble of looking up the exact numbers. 

When your in Manhattan and you say it's 5 blocks, people will ask whether you mean crosstown.   It's a big difference - crosstown 5 blocks is a mile, going north/south would only be a 1/4 mile.

And to make it worse in the winter the wind on the crosstown blocks is at least 4 times as worse. Brrrr....



Offline BobbyR

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Re: How far is a block??
« Reply #16 on: November 11, 2009, 07:17:16 PM »
Thanks BobbyR, you saved me the trouble of looking up the exact numbers. 

When your in Manhattan and you say it's 5 blocks, people will ask whether you mean crosstown.   It's a big difference - crosstown 5 blocks is a mile, going north/south would only be a 1/4 mile.

And to make it worse in the winter the wind on the crosstown blocks is at least 4 times as worse. Brrrr....
Yeah Manhattan is different than most places. I have yet to figure out what a Country mile is. Now the rest of you know why we don't go metric, it would take a supercomputer to figure all this out.  ;D
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Offline DammitDan

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Re: How far is a block??
« Reply #17 on: November 11, 2009, 07:31:26 PM »
A country mile is the same distance as "over yonder" and "up the road a piece".
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Offline bucky katt

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Re: How far is a block??
« Reply #18 on: November 11, 2009, 08:40:41 PM »
So,
what is a blockhead?
 ???



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Offline The_Crippler

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Re: How far is a block??
« Reply #19 on: November 11, 2009, 09:27:10 PM »
A country mile is the same distance as "over yonder" and "up the road a piece".

Which doesn't really matter, because you can't get there from here.



Offline DammitDan

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Re: How far is a block??
« Reply #20 on: November 11, 2009, 09:29:59 PM »
A country mile is the same distance as "over yonder" and "up the road a piece".

Which doesn't really matter, because you can't get there from here.

 :D
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