Thursday, April 16, 2015

2446 Unpleasant Name

I like that our world both revolves and evolves.  It's like traveling down an old street you used to go to when you were a kid and seeing it completely transformed by new curbs and sidewalks and modern houses.

On the one hand it's progress.  Gone are the weeds and the trash on the gravelly pot-holed verge.  On the other hand it's totally strange and unfamiliar. 

I thought about that the other day when I passed a road sign that said, "26th Avenue."  Because it also had one of those extra road signs attached underneath it that said, "Formerly Pleasant Glade Road." 

Was this just a visible evolution of the naming process or something else? 

I'm not sure why cities change names and yet still post the old ones like that.  Is it to help old people find their way around?  Piloting their ancient and giant Oldsmobile Delta 88s without benefit of GPS, how are they going to know where they are if you suddenly change a street name on them?

Perhaps it's because the municipality wants to invoke an air of history.  The gravitas a community needs to help its branding and identity.  "Sure we were just incorporated in 1999, but look, we had really old roads way before then."

Or it could be that 26th Avenue sounds more modern.  After all, the Frenchy sounding "avenue" is so much more sophisticated than a dirty old "road." 

Or there may be another reason.  A perhaps more insidious one.  It could be that 26th avenue now has so much development there aren't any trees along it like there were in its primitive condition.  So it doesn't make sense to call it Pleasant Glade Road.

Because there's no longer a pleasant glade anywhere close. 

America, ya gotta love it. 

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