Addressing - Chapter 2

Chapter 2 - Street Naming

One of the most basic components of an address is the street name (including both the name itself and also the street type). If the street name causes confusion because there are several streets with the same or similar name, then the address is nearly useless. On the other hand, if the street name is part of a clearly understood system, then the address is very helpful even to people who may not be familiar with the specific area in which the address is located. The following standards are intended to provide guidance for street naming decisions so that the result will be as coherent and understandable as possible. They should be applied to all public streets and to any private streets or drives that are used for addressing or which carry a significant amount of public traffic.

  1. East-West Street Names

    Streets that run primarily east and west should use the numeric street name grid that is commonly used throughout most of the County. The spacing of numeric street names should be based on the current pattern of 8 numeric names per mile. Where additional names are needed, street types such as Terrace or Place should be used in conjunction with the numeric street grid (for example, 98th Street, 98th Terrace, 98th Place, 99th Street).

  2. North-South Street Names

    Whenever possible, streets that run primarily north and south should use one of the names from the grid of street names maintained by the County (see Appendix A). The spacing of named streets should be based on the current pattern of 16 names per mile. A street name that is part of the grid should not be used outside of its proper location and sequence as established by the grid.

    For example: "Rosehill" is in the street name grid at the 12700 block (halfway between Quivira and Pflumm) -- it should not be used at any other location in the County.

    Where a new street is proposed at a location that does not have an established grid name, a new name may be used and should be added to the official grid list (see Chapter 4 on Addressing Procedures and Communication). New grid names cannot be duplicates of existing street names. Once a new grid name is adopted, all future streets at the same east-west location should use that name even if they are not directly connected.

  3. Non-Grid Street Names

    Using a street name which is not in the street name grid should generally be avoided, but may be acceptable when: (1) all of the grid names have been used; (2) when the street runs for a substantial distance on a diagonal and thus crosses several of the normal locations for grid streets; or (3) where there is clear reason why a grid name would cause confusion. Street names that are not in the street name grid should always be unique in the County and, preferably, unique in the metropolitan area.

    Street Grid

  4. Vanity Street Names

    Vanity street names and addresses (i.e., names or addresses that are related to a particular business, developer or property owner) should never be used in place of the primary street address. They may, however, be used as a supplemental address in compliance with U.S. Post Office standards.

  5. Location of Street Name Break Points

    The name of a continuous street may change because of a change in the street’s east-west vs. north-south orientation, or because of a change in alignment that makes another name from the street name grid more accurate. Such street name breaks should occur at an intersection whenever possible, and preferably at an intersection with a major cross street. Where it is not possible to make the break at an intersection, the break should occur at a point on the curve where the street orientation changes from primarily north-south to east-west. Street name signs should be used at every street name break to clarify the change.

  6. Cul-de-sac Street Names

    Cul-de-sacs that have 7 or more lots along their length should be given a street name in the same manner as any other street. Short cul-de-sacs (or "eyebrows") not meeting the above standard should generally be given the same name as the street they get access from (i.e., the street that generally runs perpendicular to the cul-de-sac). This general rule for short cul-de-sacs may not apply, however, in the following circumstances:

    1. Where the lots are very large, the number of lots allowed on a cul-de-sac without a distinct name should be reduced.
    2. Where the end of the cul-de-sac is not clearly visible from the entrance, then a name different from the street providing access to the cul-de-sac should be used.
    3. Where a cul-de-sac is an extension of a street with a street name separate from the perpendicular street, then that name should generally be used.

    In the situations described above, the best judgement of each street naming entity should be used to determine the name which would be least confusing.

  7. Street Name Composition

    When choosing a new street name that is not part of the accepted grid, names should comply with the following standards: (1) avoid names that sound like existing street names even if they are spelled differently (e.g., "Roe" and "Row"); (2) avoid names that include directions (e.g., "Southwind") or words commonly associated with street types (e.g., "Melrose Place Drive"); and (3) avoid names that contain more than two "words" (except that hyphenated words should count as one word).

  8. Street Type Usage

    Every street should be assigned a street type. Where a street is continuous (or potentially continuous), the same street type should generally be used along its entire length (for example: "Metcalf" should not be "Metcalf Avenue" in some places and "Metcalf Road" in others). Where there is only one street with a particular name, a street type from the list of Primary Street Types should be used. Where there are two or more streets with the same name that are parallel to each other, then the northernmost, easternmost or most continuous street should be given a Primary Street Type and the others should be given a street type from the list of Secondary Street Types.

    Primary Street Types Secondary Street Types
    Street Terrace
    Avenue Place
    Boulevard Lane
    Drive Circle
    Road Court
    Parkway Trail

    A primary street type should never be used in place of a secondary street type and a secondary street type should never be used in a situation that calls for a primary street type.

  9. Street Type Sequence

    For numeric street names, street types are generally used in the following sequence: Street, Terrace, Place, and Court. This pattern should be followed whenever possible.