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February 24, 2008

Naming streets

Having traveled in many U.S. cities on business over a long career, I have this to say about naming streets (2/19, Letters). The purpose of naming a street should be for direction to the traveler.

Local folks don’t need street names to get around. Strangers should be able to rely on street names for direction.

It is not only discomforting to be at a busy intersection in a strange city where everyone but you seems to know exactly where they are going -- it can also be a safety issue. A green sign saying you are at the corner of Lincoln and Mulberry tells you absolutely nothing.

My favorite place to get around is Salt Lake City. They have a central location (the Mormon Temple Square) which basically amounts to Zero Street on each side of the square. Every other address in the town refers to its location in relation to this spot.

North and south in Kansas City are good, using a numeric system and the river as a reference. However, I’ve lived here for more than 20 years and I still need a map to find locations where street names give no geographic indication.

Bennie Howe



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