Reader and his GPS stumped by some addresses

The in basket: Jim Sparks writes, “My wife and I moved to the area four years ago from Pennsylvania and we have been wondering what was the rationale for naming roads/streets using the ‘street court road NE’ (or something similar) system.

“I kinda understand the NE part to give some idea of where in a particular city the street is located but we have found that there can be multiples of streets with the same name in a city.

Our GPS can’t figure it out nor can we. It’s the multiples of similar street names, 111 64 St Ct NE, then 111 64 Ct Ave SE, then 111 64th St NE. I’m exaggerating slightly but if you are not native to the area it’s very confusing.

“Who was responsible?”

The out basket: County and city officials struggle with this and will continue to, says Larry Keeton, head of Kitsap’s Department of Community Development. The county is embarking on a three-year project next year to correct some of these issues, including duplicative street names.

A lot of duplication in street and road names is historic, accumulating over the years. Correcting it often requires forcing people to change their addresses, an unpopular thing, and minimizing public inconvenience is among the objectives of such efforts.

Surprisingly, current county code does not allow proper names as new street names, except for historic reasons. That’s what allowed an exception for relatively new Greaves Way in Silverdale, named after the pioneer Greaves family.

The proper name restriction is to avoid further duplication, Larry told me, offering the two major Anderson Hill roads, one in South Kitsap and the other in Silverdale as examples of what can happen.

“The other question,” he said, “is whether

the name is easy to say and spell.

“In the future, we’ll probably say you can use proper names if easily spelled and not duplicative.’

“We have 61,000 addresses and 9,000 are out of sequence or misnumbered,” he said.  “We need to correct that with next generation 911 coming on board,” he said.

Having even numbers on one side of each street and odd numbers on the other is a key objective. So is giving names to long dirt driveways with many homes on them.

As to the directional indicators like NE and SW, current code says “ways of travel running generally or predominantly north and south shall be suffixed with the abbreviated name of the district for the entire way of travel, and ways of travel running generally or predominantly east and west shall be prefixed with the abbreviated name of the district for the entire way of travel.”


3 thoughts on “Reader and his GPS stumped by some addresses

  1. Along with that, I’ve often wondered why a road name would be “Will NE Road” rather than “Will Road NE.” This is especially common when the road name is long and the “Rd” and “NE” are squeezed onto the sign.

  2. As pointed out in the story, a road running predominantly North – South would be NE Will Road. If East – West would be Will Road NE. Even address on North and East, Odd on South and West. Simple.

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