ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Is It Avenue Or Street, Or Who Cares?

Updated on December 6, 2017
William F. Torpey profile image

Graduated NYU in 1964. Worked in NYC for 2 years in public relations then as reporter and editor before retiring from The Hour newspaper.

Part of Main Avenue in Norwalk

Looking north on Main Avenue, part of State Route 7, Norwalk, Connecticut -- coincidentally it's the exact site of my home on the Norwalk River in 1954.
Looking north on Main Avenue, part of State Route 7, Norwalk, Connecticut -- coincidentally it's the exact site of my home on the Norwalk River in 1954.

Allen-O'Neill Drive in Darien

The street sign designating the correctly spelled name of the street: Allen-O'Neill Drive, Darien, where I lived for several years in the 1970s. The street is named for Lt. Eric Allen Jr. and Ensign William T. O'Neill, both killed on Dec. 7, 1941.
The street sign designating the correctly spelled name of the street: Allen-O'Neill Drive, Darien, where I lived for several years in the 1970s. The street is named for Lt. Eric Allen Jr. and Ensign William T. O'Neill, both killed on Dec. 7, 1941. | Source
This is what Allen-O'Neill Drive in Noroton Heights, Darien, looks like now (August 2015 photo) where my old friends and my family lived a few decades ago.
This is what Allen-O'Neill Drive in Noroton Heights, Darien, looks like now (August 2015 photo) where my old friends and my family lived a few decades ago. | Source

Charlie Chan: Master Detective

Sidney Toler as Charlie Chan
Sidney Toler as Charlie Chan

Some years ago I lived on a very short street in Darien that still runs from Noroton Avenue to Elm Street. It's roughly the equivalent of two blocks long. At the intersection with Noroton Avenue the street sign declared the name to be Allen-O'Neill Drive, at the intersection with Elm Street it was Allen O'Neill Drive.

Somewhere in that two-block area the hyphen was lost. Who cares? It's only a little old hyphen. Anyway, hyphens are out of vogue, along with spelling, reading and thinking.

With the hyphens, of course, Allen and O'Neill are two different people, as is the case in Darien. They were posthumously awarded the (Congressional) Medal of Honor.

Without the hyphen, Allen O'Neill could be one person.

Every time I see street signs, or traffic signs, that are confusing rather than helpful, it gets my dander up.

Carelessly Placed Signs

What makes it worse is when people make excuses for officials who carelessly put up signs that poorly serve the public, and sometimes create downright dangerous situations.

One of the most common is the sign placed on the far side of the highway exit rather than on the near side.

In Norwalk, there's one glaring example of bureaucratic carelessness with a road sign.

If you're an old-timer in Norwalk and its environs, see if you can answer this question correctly: Where does Main Street end and Main Avenue begin?

Before you answer, let me point out that this question does not involve South Main Street, North Main Street or West Main Street. It does involve Route 7 (the old one, not the new one.)

I have in my possession two street indexes published by the Norwalk Planning and Zoning Commission. One is dated May 1973 and the other July 1989. According to the earlier version, Main Avenue is located at J-8 on the map and, in parentheses, South of Merritt Parkway. In the 1989 index, the parenthetical notations were erased.

Playing Charlie Chan

The Main Street/Main Avenue issue has come up a number of times at The Hour and elsewhere, so I decided to play Charlie Chan to see whether or not I could solve the mystery.

I began by looking at some maps; some were vague, adding no clarity to the situation; some clearly show that Main Street ends at New Canaan Avenue where Main Avenue begins. Then I looked in the telephone book, but that only added to the puzzle. Finally, I walked along the stretch of road and visited some businesses.

Street signs between New Canaan Avenue and Broad Street proclaim "Main Street," including one strategically placed on the north side of the intersection of Ward Street and Main, thus indicating that Main Street goes all the way to Broad Street. Street numbers, I found, run consecutively from Main Street through Main Avenue (which is how the Fire Department knows where to go.)

Still puzzled?

Then try to figure this out: The shopping center at the corner of Main and Broad includes several businesses whose addresses are 235 Main Street. Nutri/System's address is 235 Main Avenue; CVS Pharmacy's address is 235 Main Street! They're all in the same building!

I wrote this column as a "My View" for The Hour newspaper of Norwalk, Conn., on April 29, 1995.

Peter Pastorelli Interviewed About Filmmaking in Connecticut

Do Cities Take Adequate Care in the Wording and Placement of Street and Traffic Signs?

See results

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • William F. Torpey profile image
      Author

      William F Torpey 10 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y.

      Thanks for the comments, folks. Broadway would be great, Bob. Compu-smart, I agree. I've always liked the way they do it in midtown Manhattan. MrMarmalade, it sure is tough trying to get where you're going in bad weather and at night -- and the poor street signs are little or no help!

    • MrMarmalade profile image

      MrMarmalade 10 years ago from Sydney

      What I hate, is looking at night time for a street in the rain and the street makers or namers forgot to pot the name up.

      I have had to survive many yeays of this bad management, as I always was visiting somebody at night time.

      The time wasted. Oh Well!

      Thank you

    • compu-smart profile image

      Compu-Smart 10 years ago from London UK

      Crazy!!I have always loved the street system in new york..1st street, 2nd street 3rd street....... I think this concept should be incorperated everywhere!! I'm not sure if this would be viable!!

    • profile image

      Bob 10 years ago

      Bill..........Now if they named it Broadway , it wouldn't be street, drive, avenue, place, or boulevard....End of problems.

    • William F. Torpey profile image
      Author

      William F Torpey 10 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y.

      Thanks, Patty. The best of seen is around Fort Lauderdale, Fla., where large overhead signs at many intersections tell you what's coming up. There are a few similar signs on the side of the road in Long Island, N.Y. Isabella, I'd never find my way in your part of the world. Wow! No street signs? I thought the signing here was poor, but that's ridiculous!

    • Isabella Snow profile image

      Isabella Snow 10 years ago

      Ohmigod, they didnt even HAVE street signs on 98% of the streets over here until after they joined the EU and had to do it. The signs are on the first building on the block - good luck spotting that whie you're driving! When there are street signs now, they are on the far side, and you still cant read them, they are about the size of a toy license plate. Awful! But great hub! :)

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 10 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      Amazing isn't it? Many cities need a better method of street naming.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is used to quickly and efficiently deliver files such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisements has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)