10/19/2005

so if I were a city planner or mayor, one of the first things I would do would be to make rules about street names. I hate stupid ones.

Street names must be different - I hate in the suburbs when there are fifteen streets in a subdivision with minor differences, like "East Hills Way," "East Hills Lane," "East Hills Drive," etc. How confusing is that? "Ok, so turn left on East Hills Way, then go past East Hills Drive and.. no wait, East Hills Parkway..."

Themes - Most themes are stupid, but if you're going to use a theme it can't include the same word, such as "Harbour View Drive," "Twin Harbour Drive," "Harbour Park Lane" and so on. Just because "Harbour" is in a different place in different names, it doesn't mean it's not confusing or dumb. And Harbour? What is this, Canada? These are in Farragut, Tenn. If I ran a town, you've got to use American spellings of words, you won't be able to trick dummies into thinking their subdivision is nice because they live on "Honour Way" or "Labour Terrace" or some crap like that.

Street types - I also hate stupid types (or suffixes, whatever) like "Court" and "Cove" and "Terrace" and "Crescent" and so on. In my town, we have only street. Say that with a Russian accent. But really, cars don't drive on coves or terraces, they drive on streets. There are lots of things to name a street, you shouldn't have to just change the ending. How about Presidents? Historical figures in that area? Local geographical features, mayors, whatever. "Green Cove Green Way Green Street Green Boulevard" is just lazy.

More about themes - I hate it when people name stuff for their kids, like "Aimee Way" and "Amanda Boulevard." Show your kid you love them some other way, and name the street "Jefferson Street." And how stupid would it be to live on "Michael Vick Way" or "Phil Fulmer Boulevard" or something in 20 years? Proper names are not good.

And don't use stupid themes - Trees are ok. Presidents are fine. Kinds of dogs or flowers are not. "Daffodil Street"? Come on. And try to avoid the nouns. Naming streets for farming implements is pretty retarded, even if you do live near farms. My house in Knoxville is near Hitching Post Drive and Wagon Tongue Lane. That's dumb. And that map also has a stupid subdivision with streets named for famous horses: Secretariat, Seattle Slew, etc. Come on, Foolish Pleasure Lane? That is ridiculous. I've never even heard of that horse, but whether it's a famous horse or not, it's a terrible street name. Who approves this crap?

And if you're making a subdivision and run out of names, maybe you have too many little stupid cul-de-sacs. Buy maps of Charleston, New Orleans, and Boston for some good ones. Colonial street names are usually good and normal sounding.

I found a couple of articles on street names, one from Wikipedia and one from Texas A&M called "How are subdivisions named?" It's pretty interesting. I like this example from the A&M artilcle, it makes me want to punch this guy:

Obviously, the names of family and friends are the source for other subdivision names. There’s Christopher’s Cove, Suzanne’s Court and Julie’s Walk. Michael Shelton, developer of MJ Ranch, proudly named the subdivision after his wife Mary Jo.


Man, how much would it suck to have to live on Julie's Walk? I'd hate to call somebody and have to tell them my address. "uh... 6 Julie's Walk." "What? Who's Julie?" "No, that's the name of the street that I live on." "It's a walk?" "Yeah, but it's a street. Look, it's 6, then the name Julie, apostrophe S, then Walk." "Okay." "Now to get here, take a left on Hailey's Cove, then..."

There's also the subdivision name generator, which is pretty funny.

5 comments:

Venny Jee said...

there was this neighborhood in my town where all the streets were named after Gone With the Wind...so there was Scarlett, Ashley, Tara, Rhett...I used to beg my parents to move there (and I also asked to change my name to Scarlet O'hara)...in other words I had an obsession.

Beth said...

all i hear all day at work are lame street names.
my last place was on east intruder circle (the entire place was jet names)
now i live on tuition drive off cum laude street.

Edmund Schluessel said...

My office is on a street called "The Parade". It's a block over from "The Walk", which is shorter.

Cardiff's street names are all reasonably traditional; all the "embankments" are next to the river, and all the "crescents" are actual crescents, so that's OK.

But something the British have a proclivity for is renaming a street halfway along, just for the hell of it. The main road east-west across town is Newport Road -- apart from one block where, for no reason, it becomes Boulevard de Nantes, and then one block after that, Stuttgarter Strasse.

Also, one of the big roads, and the neighborhood around it, is called "Pen-y-Lan" ("Upper Street"). I almost got an apartment there; I'm afraid that if I had, I would never be able to get the song out of my head.

Andrew said...

edmund, that is the sort of thing I like. my friend used to live in Bury St Edmunds, and his address was "6 The Street." But yah, if a street is actually a crescent, then fine, but most crescents in subdivisions look no different from lanes or ways or whatevers. And anyway, to me, "lane" is a little thin urban street, not a random suburban thing. Names from "Gone With the Wind," jets, and academic stuff like "cum laude street" are banned from my town. Why not name them after colleges instead? There are only about a million to choose from. I'd rather live on Sewanee Street than "Double Major Boulevard" or some crap. "Scholarship Drive."

Edmund Schluessel said...

Endowment Boulevard.

Pedagogy Parkway.

Islamic Studies Crescent!

Besides, at least the streets have names. If it were up to Trachtenberg, half of Washington would be called, like, "Street G" until they got someone to spend half a million dollars to name it.