Confusing Street Names in Austin

Austin's Loopy Street Names

Pennybacker Bridge in Austin
••• Pennybacker bridge over "Loop" 360. Jeremy Royall/Moment/Getty Images

Getting around Austin isn't always easy. Most of the city's major roads have at least two names, making navigation confusing for those who are new to town. This list will help you make sense of Austin's many streets with multiple names.

Highways

· MoPac Expressway (named after the Missouri Pacific railroad) and Loop 1 are the same thing. Locals just call it “MoPac.” Oh, and by the way, there is no loop despite the Loop 1 name.

It's a north-south highway.

· Capital of Texas Highway is another name for Loop 360. Although Loop 360 is quite curvy, it is also not a loop, maybe a quarter loop at best, along the western side of town. 

· Highway 71 is also called Ben White Boulevard. Also, there's a stretch of Highway 71 that is part of Highway 290, but the "real" 290 departs from Austin on the northeast side of town.

· Research Boulevard is the same thing as Interstate 183. At one point, 183 is called Anderson Lane, and in another section, Ed Bluestein Boulevard.

Roads

· When 290 comes into Austin from Houston and hits I-35, it turns into Ranch Road 2222 and runs west out to Lake Travis. On the way, it is also known as Allandale, Northland and Koenig.

· Ranch Road 2244 is the same thing as Bee Cave Road (sometimes called Bee Caves Road). It's singular because it's actually named after a single cave that once held a large bee colony.

· Martin Luther King Boulevard is the same thing as 19th Street. Locals usually just call it “MLK.”

· Enfield Road and 15th Street are the same road. When you exit for 15th Street at MoPac, only the name Enfield is used, so this one is important!

· Windsor is the same thing as 24th Street. MoPac’s exit for 24th Street only says Windsor.

· Cesar Chavez and 1st Street are the same (east-west) road. However, South 1st is a major north-south road leading from downtown into deep south Austin.

· Dean Keaton Street is the same thing as 26th Street in the campus area, though as soon as it goes onto the east side of I-35, it turns into Manor Road. And Manor is pronounced "Mayner" for reasons lost to history.

· If you follow a map to 6th Street and end up on a bland residential street instead of the bustling entertainment district, you're probably on South 6th Street. Of course, on most street signs, the "South" is just a little "S" that can be easy to miss. 

· Manchaca Road keeps the same name throughout its diagonal route in south Austin, but it can be confusing because it's pronounced "Man-Chack." There's actually an effort under way to rename it Menchaca because the original name was basically a typo.

· In downtown Austin, the north-south Congress Avenue marks the dividing line between streets that start with either “West” or “East.” Unfortunately, many locals tend to leave out these details when referring to common streets, such as 6th Street. The primary entertainment district is located on East 6th Street east of Congress Avenue.

Since West 6th Street also has bars, it's easy for newcomers to get the two confused. Some GPS navigating systems also overlook this important detail.

Edited by Robert Macias