Atenas Central Gets Street Signs!

The center of town!
Corner of 0 & 0!

UNBELIEVABLE! Or at least “un-Tico” to have street signs! My goodness! What will they think of next? House numbers?

I have traveled all over Costa Rica and the only place with street signs so far is downtown San Jose that I have noticed. The Tico way to give directions is by using obvious landmarks with a number of meters from it to the next landmark or the destination. For example if you need to get to my house and are driving from Alajuela:

On Ruta 3 drive past La Coope Gasolinera to the first legal left turn or second street after the traffic light. Drive 500 meters to the end of road at Escuela Central and turn left. Go 100 meters to El Pinguino shop and turn right. Then in 100 meters, turn left and go 600 meters to the Roca Verde sign on the right. Inside the gate go 200 meters to the third black gate on left numbered 105. Only some developments like ours have house numbers.

Now read under the second photo the directions to my house from Central Atenas with street signs and it is not much shorter!

Of course that needs to be in Spanish. And if you don’t know, a city block is approximately 100 meters, but “blocks” are not generally used for directions here.

To get to my house from central,
take Calle 3 south to Avenida 8,
left 500 meters to the Roca Verde
sign and gate on the right, then
straight ahead 200 meters to 3rd
black gate on left with number 105.
Now say that in Spanish! 🙂

And I must add that I am glad my bank fees are at least partially going to help the community. The little logo at the bottom of each street sign is for Banco Nacional.

For those who still think I live in the jungle, see what modern progress we are making down here!? And this was a big surprise to everyone! Most did not know the names of the streets, so I figure 4 or 5 years to get used to the street names, then maybe house numbers!

And for anyone who cares, Calles run north-south and Avenidas east-west. East of Calle 0 are odd numbered Calles and west even numbered. North of Avenida 0 are odd numbered and south even numbered. I wonder how many have figured that out yet?  🙂

We’ve actually had these street names for awhile, though the only place I have seen them is on a paper map from a real estate company and on the Google Map. But it is a rare Tico who knows the name of any street in town! And the sign at right, 3rd & 8th is the last street sign before my house. They have signed what is generally called “Central Atenas” or the core of downtown.

The city is hard at work making improvements. In Central Park a children’s playground has been added with swings, slides and climbing things. Can the kids still climb the trees? Also, there are new brighter street lights in park for night events.

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