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Project Asks Community to Submit Names for Streets

The street-naming project under way in the territory is just the first step of a process that, when completed some years from now, will result in a conventional addressing system in the territory.
That will mean emergency responders, delivery drivers, tourists and – admit it, now, even longtime residents – will more easily be able to find their way to their destination, faster and without getting lost or having to keep an eye out for "the white wall on the left," the "big tree in the road" or "the field where the horses used to be."
And, coupled with new technology, a modern addressing system could benefit the islands in the future in ways we can’t even imagine yet, according to Shawna Richards of the Lieutenant Governor’s Office.
Lt. Gov. Gregory R. Francis is calling on residents to help name the streets of their own neighborhoods and communities. Homeowners associations, neighborhood civic group, community activists or just interested neighbors can submit names, according to Richards.
Street naming is the first component in the V.I. Street Naming and Addressing project, which seeks to realize a logical and standardized system of addressing throughout the territory.
"This is just the first phase," Richards said.
The most obvious advantage of the project is emergency response. The territory’s new 911 system allows emergency operators to type in an address, which then shows up on a computerized map in the responding police, fire or medical vehicle.
But since V.I. homes don’t have standard addresses, that part of the system doesn’t function, and ambulances or fire engines still have to prowl through neighborhoods looking for the right street, then the right house on the street, often in the dark.
Conventional addresses also could be part of the territory’s Geographical Information System, a sophisticated computer system that allows data from a variety of sources to be pulled together, making planning and providing services more efficient.
Almost anywhere in the states, the driver of a GPS-equipped car can type in an address and get directions to the location. Not so in the territory today, but with conventional addresses that too could become a reality.
According to Richards, the Department of Public Works began a street-naming project n the early 1990s and had some success.
But the territory has grown, there are more roads now, more homes, more people, and there are plenty of officially unnamed streets. Even the list compiled in the earlier effort never was approved by the Senate, leaving those names in a state of limbo.
Richards said the goal is to come up with a proposed list of street names within the next three months or so. After they have been screened to make sure they meet the guidelines, they will be compiled and presented to the Legislature for action.
But even then, there will be plenty more work to be done, including devising an addressing system to go with those street names, and designing and installing signage to tell people what those names are.
The Lieutenant Governor’s Office has issued a list of guidelines for naming streets. For the most part, those guidelines are aimed at developing a list of street names that are culturally appropriate or relating to local history, pleasant sounding and easy to read.
Lengthy or difficult to pronounce words or words with special symbols should be avoided.
Members of the community interested in taking part can view, download and print the street naming guidelines at www.ltg.gov.vi. A listing of the communities that have previously submitted street name recommendations can also be viewed online.
Further information can be obtained by calling Richards at 340-773-6459 or via email at shawna.richards@lgo-vi.gov.

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The street-naming project under way in the territory is just the first step of a process that, when completed some years from now, will result in a conventional addressing system in the territory.
That will mean emergency responders, delivery drivers, tourists and – admit it, now, even longtime residents – will more easily be able to find their way to their destination, faster and without getting lost or having to keep an eye out for "the white wall on the left," the "big tree in the road" or "the field where the horses used to be."
And, coupled with new technology, a modern addressing system could benefit the islands in the future in ways we can't even imagine yet, according to Shawna Richards of the Lieutenant Governor's Office.
Lt. Gov. Gregory R. Francis is calling on residents to help name the streets of their own neighborhoods and communities. Homeowners associations, neighborhood civic group, community activists or just interested neighbors can submit names, according to Richards.
Street naming is the first component in the V.I. Street Naming and Addressing project, which seeks to realize a logical and standardized system of addressing throughout the territory.
"This is just the first phase," Richards said.
The most obvious advantage of the project is emergency response. The territory's new 911 system allows emergency operators to type in an address, which then shows up on a computerized map in the responding police, fire or medical vehicle.
But since V.I. homes don't have standard addresses, that part of the system doesn't function, and ambulances or fire engines still have to prowl through neighborhoods looking for the right street, then the right house on the street, often in the dark.
Conventional addresses also could be part of the territory's Geographical Information System, a sophisticated computer system that allows data from a variety of sources to be pulled together, making planning and providing services more efficient.
Almost anywhere in the states, the driver of a GPS-equipped car can type in an address and get directions to the location. Not so in the territory today, but with conventional addresses that too could become a reality.
According to Richards, the Department of Public Works began a street-naming project n the early 1990s and had some success.
But the territory has grown, there are more roads now, more homes, more people, and there are plenty of officially unnamed streets. Even the list compiled in the earlier effort never was approved by the Senate, leaving those names in a state of limbo.
Richards said the goal is to come up with a proposed list of street names within the next three months or so. After they have been screened to make sure they meet the guidelines, they will be compiled and presented to the Legislature for action.
But even then, there will be plenty more work to be done, including devising an addressing system to go with those street names, and designing and installing signage to tell people what those names are.
The Lieutenant Governor's Office has issued a list of guidelines for naming streets. For the most part, those guidelines are aimed at developing a list of street names that are culturally appropriate or relating to local history, pleasant sounding and easy to read.
Lengthy or difficult to pronounce words or words with special symbols should be avoided.
Members of the community interested in taking part can view, download and print the street naming guidelines at www.ltg.gov.vi. A listing of the communities that have previously submitted street name recommendations can also be viewed online.
Further information can be obtained by calling Richards at 340-773-6459 or via email at shawna.richards@lgo-vi.gov.