ST. GEORGE — Ever wonder why the City of St. George has a preference for numbering streets instead of simply naming them? The city’s philosophy behind naming streets was a topic of discussion by the City Council in a meeting Thursday.
“We use numbers where possible,” City Manager Gary Esplin said, yet added that the City Council could start allowing for “nice little funky names” for streets if it wants to.
Typically, the city assigns a number to new streets, with the exception of some streets that don’t align with the city’s grid system, Public Works Director Cameron Cutler said.
More streets like this are appearing with incoming developments and developers who want names over numbers.
First responders favor the numbered street system, Cutler said, as the numbers act as coordinates to the scene of accident, fire or suspicious incident reports. This allows the responders to potentially reach the scene faster. This may not be much of an issue in the future though, as mapping and GPS technology continue to improve.
When people call the St. George Communications Center and give a named street only, the dispatcher may tend to have to get directions based on landmarks, Cutler said, and that loses time.
“I just look at what’s best for public safety,” Councilman Gil Almquist said.
Still, the city gets requests for street names, and incoming developers want to give the names to the streets in their projects.
If there’s going to be a name, it also better have a number, Councilman Joe Bowcutt said.
The city has already done this in some cases by giving streets names related to local high schools while also retaining the original street number. The same was done with 700 East where Dixie State University sits. The street was named University Avenue in 2013 in honor of the school achieving university status, yet also remains known as 700 East.
What about the streets that have unofficial names? For one, 400 East has long been known as “Flood Street.”
Streets like 400 East and others that have what council members called “historic” names, Esplin said, could be given those names as a part of some city initiative.
While the City Council members largely stated their continued support for the numbering system, they gave a nod to considering approving some street renaming requests as well.
An update was given on the collapsed roof of a building at the city’s waste water treatment plant.
The roof collapsed Nov. 22 with repairs at the time estimated at $200,000. The collapse appeared to happen later in the day, so no one was inside or injured when the incident occurred.
The remains of the roof should be off the building within two weeks, Esplin said. Designs for a new roof are also underway, he said. “We’re pushing to get this done as fast as we can.”
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