2008-10-13

Quirks with street names in Athens

Athens is often thought of as a small town, but it is plenty big enough to have confusing street name issues.
  • Edgewood Drive: There are two Edgewoods, one in the Kingswood Subdivision and the other off Whitehead Road. I don't know the official history, but in an effort to distinguish them the one in Kingswood is called Edgewood Drive and the other one is called Edgewood Road. Unfortunately, the post office calls them both Edgewood Drive, and they share a range of street numbers, and they're both in the same ZIP code. There are some problems with duplicate addresses: for instance, the county tax assessor has two different properties called "145 Edgewood Dr." It is apparent that the government needs to fix this problem. There was an article about it in OnlineAthens.com ("Mix-ups hitting home on streets bearing same name.")
  • Hancock: Don't shorten a road name to "Hancock" -- there are at least four of them. There's West Hancock Avenue, East Hancock Avenue, Hancock Lane, and even Hancock Industrial Way. Although East and West Hancock Avenue are a continuous road, they each have their own series of street numbers. Be precise.
  • Atlanta Highway: Other communities have roads called "Atlanta Highway," and they are not always the same route since a lot of highways go to Atlanta, obviously. In Athens the confusion is over where it starts. As West Broad Street goes toward Atlanta, the name changes to Atlanta Highway somewhere around the Middle Oconee River. If you are telling me to go somewhere on Atlanta Highway but it's really called West Broad Street, then I'm thinking about a different part of town. To make matters worse, this route is designated as the U.S. Highway 78 Business route, a different route from the regular U.S. Highway 78.
  • Oconee Street/Oak Street/Lexington Road: If you follow the Highway 78 Business route southeast out of downtown, the road name changes a lot. First you are on Oconee Street, but the route becomes Oak Street where "Oconee Street" actually takes a right turn. And then guess what? The road becomes Oconee Street again where the other "Oconee Street" doglegs back onto Highway 78 Business. If you continue, you'll drive under the Perimeter Highway overpass and then the road becomes Lexington Road when you drive past the intersection with Barnett Shoals Road. I don't know the history, but the Oconee/Oak confusion suggests that intersections were rebuilt at some point in the past to divert traffic on and off Oak Street. Maybe a reader here can write a comment if anyone knows the story.
  • Numbered Streets: In many cities you'll find streets called First Street, Second Street, and so forth in the downtown area, but not in Athens. Our downtown grid doesn't use a traditional naming scheme. Our numbered streets are in a residential area outside of downtown, and they don't even form an orderly grid. This area has an Odd Street, but this name is given to three segments that are not even connected in one continuous path.
  • 2500 West Broad Street: I wanted to point out this mystery. This is an office complex located on the odd-numbered (southern) side of the street. Travelers could potentially have trouble finding it because they would be looking on the wrong side. The two properties to the east of it are numbered 2465 and 2455. I also don't know the story, and the Jackson Company Realtors have not replied to my e-mails asking about it. (While this is the mailing address, the tax assessor calls it 2500 Atlanta Highway, adding to the confusion about where West Broad Street ends and Atlanta Highway begins.)
Please post comments about any other road name confusion you have encountered in Athens. I didn't even want to get started on "Milledge."

7 comments:

ResidueOfDesign said...

Prince/Price. I've heard that people on Price receive medical shipments meant for doctors' offices.

shannon said...

timothy can be confusing. it changes to mitchell bridge at the ATL hwy and then turns off before going over the loop.

tallassee becomes oglethorpe at mitchell bridge. that's another confusing one.

codeman38 said...

There's also the bizarreness that is Dougherty Street and North Avenue, as depicted in this Google Map. Dougherty Street becomes North Avenue, while a completely discontiguous street is labeled Dougherty...?!

And who can forget the whole Barnett Shoals/Gaines School thing?

Adrian said...

Wow, Codeman, I didn't know Dougherty was that confusing on the map. I guess that segment shown between Jackson and Thomas actually does not exist, but it is confusing enough anyway.

recliner said...

Don't forget the wackiness that is Barnett Shoals. I hate trying to give people directions when that road(s) is involved.

Charles said...

Absolutely Barnett Shoals is the worst! I always get confused giving people directions to my house... Get off the loop, turn right onto Barnett Shoals, then turn right onto Barnett Shoals again, and then turn left onto Barnett Shoals.

shannon said...

you should do a post about really horrible bumps or dips in the roads in athens - the ones that make you bottom out. i noticed that they're fixing the one at the entrance to beechwood. there's another bad one as you cross milledge on baxter. also, there's a bad one as you leave the back of beechwood cinemas.