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CNN.com: Lost your way in the city?

Boston, D.C. hardest to navigate, survey says

NEW YORK (AP)—You stop every pedestrian you can flag down for directions. You struggle with maps and printouts. And still, you're hopelessly lost, driving in an unfamiliar city.

If this has happened to you in Boston, Washington D.C., San Francisco, Baltimore, New York City, Fort Lauderdale, Los Angeles, Seattle, Providence, Rhode Island, or the Virginia cities of Norfolk, Newport News and Virginia Beach, don't blame yourself.

A new study says these cities are the most difficult in the country to navigate.

Among the places you are least likely to get lost, according to the survey, are Salt Lake City, San Antonio, Texas, and Las Vegas.

The study was conducted by Bert Sperling, whose company "Sperling's Best Places" produces city rankings on the best places to live, retire, work and make other lifestyle choices.

The study also found that when it comes to asking for directions, the old stereotype holds true: Two-thirds of women say they are the ones who stop and ask how to get from here to there, compared to 41 percent of men.

Two-thirds of those who responded to the survey also said that getting lost causes tension with others in the car. (For some of us, that may be an understatement.)

I grew up in Salt Lake City and the address system here is so simple, so easy to understand, it slays me when I hear people talk about how hard it is to get around this city. It is true that sometimes you hear odd addresses like 500 East 400 South, but when you look at a map of the city and see it's a straightforward grid system based on the location of the LDS Temple downtown, it makes sense immediately.

The first time I went to Seattle, I was flummoxed. I understood the idea of the address system, the NE and SW and streets and avenues and whatnot, at least on the maps. The reality of it was much different. It's a good thing we stayed in downtown Seattle while my sister moved into her apartment in Kenmore; made us learn our way around so we could get into and out of downtown when we wanted to meet somewhere for dinner or our touristy activities.

It slays me when I hear people talk about how hard it is to get around Salt Lake City.Boston, only been there once. I was 16 and just half a year into my driver license, but didn't do much driving in Boston proper, primarily in Maine and New Hampshire. Even though I paid attention closely as we moved about the city, I wasn't navigating. We usually drove just long enough to get to the general area of our destination and then struck out on foot, and Boston's a wonderful walking city.

San Francisco seems easy enough to me too. The hardest part is the one-way streets, but anyone who tries to get around downtown SFO by car only is just insane.

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