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Whatever Street You Live On, in Fort Wayne, It Sure Ain't Easy
By Gloria Diaz
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Fort Wayne Reader
A recent issue of the Fort Wayne Reader had an article about “branding the city.” It included a brief survey with questions like, “if Fort Wayne were a person, who would it be.” I’d say Rodney Dangerfield, because not only did he not get respect, he’s also dead.
The article, however, gave me food for thought. Something needs to be done about these street names here in town. If you’ve lived here for years, you know that Clinton Street is also U.S. 27, but that going north on U.S. 27 from say, Decatur, you will end up on Lafayette Street, Spy Run, Clinton Street and Leo Road, without ever leaving the path. From my neighborhood, I take Clinton Street going south until I reach Decatur. And yes, I know it becomes U.S. 27 somewhere along the line (or was it always U.S. 27?) until you get to Decatur, where they have the temerity to call it “13th Street.”
Speaking of numbered streets, they don’t make sense either. The numbered streets in town run logically from First Street to Sixth Street, then jump inexplicably to 24th and 25th Avenues, then jump again to 46th and 47th Drives. Does this make sense to anyone?
We also have the quadruple threat: St. Joe Road, St. Joseph Center Road (and these two actually intersect at one point) St. Joe River Drive and St. Joseph Boulevard. I can’t wait for St. Joe River Esplanade, St. Joe Alley and St. Joe Crescent. Why not? The more the merrier!
There’s also several Arlingtons to deal with. Arlington Avenue, Arlington Park Boulevard, Arlington Park Boulevard North, Arlington Parkway, and Arlington Parkway North. There’s also Bridgeway Circle, Drive and Lane. Let us not forget Country Knoll North, Country Knoll South, Country Park Lane, Country Wood Place and Country Wood Trail.
Reed Street is in a much different neighborhood than Reed Road, but a newcomer wouldn’t know that. As a former postal worker, I can tell you that getting the zip code right is probably one of the most important things about mailing something. Fortunately, Reed Street and Reed Road are in different zip codes, so whatever moron decided to have these dual street names at least made them fairly far apart.
And then the street names themselves are laughable. There’s actually a Stoner Drive, which probably causes snickers for its residents, particularly if they are anti-drug zealots, or addiction medicine specialists. Suburban Avenue is located, appropriately, in the 46804 zip code; and for those News-Sentinel readers of years past, they might wonder if Nall Road is actually Nancy-free.
Then, for long-time Fort Wayne residents, there is the hilarious Harry W. Baals Drive. Years ago, I remember driving past it and chuckling. That’s when the actual street sign was up. I think it was stolen one too many times, because in later years, the sign became H. Baals Drive. When I drove by there the other day, the sign wasn’t up. Even the pole where the sign should have been was gone.
There’s a Cha Cha Peta Pass, Antelope Court, Jekyll Lane and Dichotomy Court. There are 22 streets that begin with the word “Old.” Regrettably, there are no streets in Fort Wayne that begin with the letter X.
When I worked for the U.S. Postal Service, I would sort mail by computer. There was a street in a city in Michigan that was named “Crapo.” I always used to laugh at that one.
I still have hopes that a new street in town gets named “Fat City Parkway,” or “Dumbass Drive,” in keeping with our national reputation.
Compasses, maps and global positioning devices to: GloriaDColumnist@aol.com.