Council suggests street name change
October 4, 2013
By Christina Corrales-Toy
Southeast 88th Street corridor could become May Creek Park Drive
A 1.5-mile stretch of road in the south end of the city could get rebranded as May Creek Park Drive after the Newcastle City Council discussed it at its Aug. 20 meeting.
The street that begins off of Coal Creek Parkway as Southeast 89th Place actually changes names six times along its route, making it difficult to give directions, said Councilman Bill Erxleben, who suggested the name change.
“This goes back to 2002 when the council then first decided that for its major directional roads that rather than have multiple street numbers that we have a name for the entire section to provide clear directions to people,” he said.
The name change would add a certain prestige to the road, eliminate the confusion that comes with multiple street names and add a directional element since the road goes to the entrance of May Creek Park, Erxleben said.
If you go
Public hearing about May Creek Park Drive name change
The corridor is the city’s third most heavily traveled east-to-west road, just behind Newcastle Way and Newcastle Golf Club Road.
At various places in its route, the road is known as 112th Place Southeast, 114th Avenue Southeast, Southeast 88th Street, Southeast 88th Place, 124th Avenue and Southeast 89th Place.
Changing the name would require the city to publically notify residents who live along the street, giving them an opportunity to comment on the proposal.
The city has experience with the process, changing street names to Newcastle Way and Newcastle Golf Club Road in 2003. Objections of the process most often come in the form of residents unhappy with having to change their address, Erxleben said.
Residents are given plenty of time to do so, though, since post offices generally agree to deliver mail with the previous street name on it for up to three years.
Similar to the signs on Newcastle Way, any new street signs would also likely have a smaller sign below it with the previous street name.
The cost of installing new street signs bearing the May Creek Park Drive name would cost about $3,000, according to Newcastle Public Works Director Mark Rigos.
“If it provides cachet, it may be a kick in your property value because you now live on May Creek Park Drive, rather than 87th Place Southeast, or whatever it is,” Erxleben said.
Councilman John Dulcich said he supported the move, saying that he preferred naming streets rather than numbering them because it adds identity to the community.
“I don’t think we should over-complicate this thing,” he said. “I know our history on the two roads, Newcastle Way and Newcastle Golf Club Road were well received, and I think it’s a great idea.”
The City Council directed staff to draft an ordinance renaming the street and begin the process of notifying residents on the road, setting a date of Oct. 31 for completion of the public outreach phase.
Before eventually supporting moving forward with the process, Councilwoman Carol Simpson said she wanted to make sure the road’s design standards meshed with the new name. She cited disappointment at the fact that the Newcastle Way corridor did not better reflect the identity of the city.
“I hesitate to rename a street May Creek Park Drive until I know whether it’s going to be like a park drive,” she said.
The city notified street residents of the proposal at the end of September. The City Council will hear residents’ comments at its Nov. 5 meeting.