Mar
27

History, Street Names, and number loathing. One Town Fights Back

By

In Douglaston, Queens, Turning Away From Numbered Streets – NYTimes.com.

Douglaston is in fact “returning to its roots” by demanding to have the old street names replanted.  So, for example,  42nd Street becomes Poplar Street once again. (A poplar is a spreading shade tree, often used along streets and roads in the US. Tree names are commonly used for streets, although there wasn’t always correlation between the names and the trees!  In many towns in America one will see Elm Street, with no elms, which fell victim in the middle of the last century to the Dutch Elm Disease.)

While the street name conversion exercise here will cost “only” $3,000 in signage, in fact the costs will be higher in terms of misdelivered and undelivered mail. There will be mix-ups and confusion in courier parcel and express deliveries. And the emergency services will probably be confused for some time, with potentially tragic results.

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