Solved: The Mystery of How a Street Gets Its Name
Have you ever noticed the unique street names in the United States? For example, Frying Pan Road in the D.C. suburb of Herndon, Virginia, or Yellowsnow Road in Fairbanks, Alaska. Of course, there are plenty of basic street names, such as Oak Street and Main Street. But how do streets get named and why?
In the earliest days of urban development of the United States, streets were named after landmarks or topographic/hydrological features and symbols of power and authority. These names were painted on signs or chiseled into rock and used by pedestrians and carriage drivers to navigate their intended destination.
From Chiseled Wayfinding Markers to Decorative, Aluminum Pole Street Signs
Fast forward to the present day, where real estate and subdivision developers have the creativity to name new streets. However, the developer must submit the new name to the city or county authorities for review. The building, engineering, and public works departments comment, but the most veto power departments are police and fire. Their concern is that the street names are unique and intelligible enough to distinguish and find a street property in an emergency.
Real estate and subdivision developers can submit any name they’d like, such as the name of their favorite bird or tree. Still, it doesn’t always work out because municipalities have specific guidelines and standards for areas that require street names to be of a particular theme.
Once all parties have agreed to a new street’s name, that information is put on to an official street sign. These signs must be reflective or illuminated day and night and stand on a cast aluminum pole with a breakaway system that meets the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) standards.
Custom Architectural Street Signs
Builders can complete their aesthetic vision for a new residential or commercial development by sourcing custom neighborhood street sign systems. These systems range in color, finish, and decorative details with options that appear as an antique decorative street sign or a custom street sign reflective of the community’s architectural design aesthetic. Street sign poles can be fluted, square, or round and topped with decorative sign frames.
As diverse as the U.S. is, so are our street signs. Bland or peculiar street names are found in every town to help direct everyone from the delivery driver to Aunt Sally in town for a visit. Brandon Industries offers a consistent and memorable community signage system that meets FHWA standards.