Coming up with a naming convention & need assistance from YOU

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01-21-2015 01:48 PM
MollyTaiber
New Contributor II

I have just started as the Mapping Tech for our Borough.  We are on an island in Alaska with a population of about 3,000 people. 

This position brings me many exciting challenges.  The first one to deal with is a naming convention of houses/driveways off of our Highway.  Our one and only Highway.

What is a proper rule for assigning address for a community?  We have in town address; what we are in need of is defining where people live "out the road"/off of this Highway.  Our emergency responders & utility readers will be of most use for this address. 

As of now the people state what mile marker they are at.  "12.3 mile".  I lived out the road in a hike in cabin and there were 6 houses off of our one driveway that we all shared to get access to our houses.  We all used for our physical address "12.3 Mile".  We all can not be sharing this address any longer, it is problematic now.

How do we assign and still allow for growth?  Plots could one day be divided and a new house/cabin built, and we will then need room for a new house number to be assigned to this change.

A challenge is this:  We have the Highway.  Off of the highway is a driveway leading up to someones house with large parcels of land.  Some may want to keep their land and never sell or build anything on it.  Others will split their parcel, or have another family member build another house on their land.  They are still using this one driveway that connects directly off of the highway (houses are out of site from this hwy; you go up a long driveway usually and then spot a house or two...or four.)

My question is when does a driveway turn into a road?  Do we then name that driveway and assign it to be a street off of that highway?  When do we do that?  We can only change someone's address once, which is now.

How do we come up with a naming convention for a one time change and still allow for growth/change?

I would value your input or further questions that you may have for me. 

9 Replies
MikeCusi
Occasional Contributor II

my 2cents worth. Any "road" that branches off the one and only highway should be named. As it's only really a driveway you can name it "Molly Way". House/properties along that driveway can then have the distance (in Imperial Units if you want) from the highway to wherever their postbox/property boundary is located.

DanPatterson_Retired
MVP Esteemed Contributor

I agree with Mike.  Relish the possibility to start something from the ground up.  Where I live, 14 municipalities were merged into one unit.  There were verbal bloodbaths around which one of the 14 would keep the name 'Main Street'.  So unless there are many Molly's in your area, you have a good start

MollyTaiber
New Contributor II

Thank you. Yes, I am wanting to take full advantage of this situation.

There are numerous roads/driveways coming off of this highway.  Say, 110 driveways off of this Highway.

Everyone here in town refers to their place as "10.1 mile" to offer directions.  They could still do as such, but going through signage, and address change would still, right now, perhaps be the path of least resistance.

It will be a big change for these folks.  I am open to that, and it is in their best interest.

Thank you

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MollyTaiber
New Contributor II

...or do we assign house numbers that will indicate their distance from Mile Marker 0. The mileage is found by dividing the house number by 1000 (for example, 15220 Mitkof Highway is 15.2 miles from Mile Marker 0).

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MikeCusi
Occasional Contributor II

House numbers based on distance is the way to go. One thing to keep in mind though is that most address geocoding algorithms usually adapts a convention of odd and even numbers as being either on the left or on the right side of a road. So find out what the norms are for Alaska before you start assigning the numbers.

MollyTaiber
New Contributor II

Yes, in place now is odd up the hill and even is at waterside, as far as the parcel data depicts. 

We could do this easily for those driveways that are single houses and directly off of the Highway.

The problem being for those that has a lane/drive off of the Hwy, that then goes to another drive that is shared by 3 houses.  What we could possibly do in this situation, is still using that distance of that house (as if you were drawing a straight line from that house to the Hwy) from out the highway.

In some of our coves that are located on the water could then double up house numbers if using the method of drawing a straight line to determine their location "on the Hwy" (even though they are not right off of the Hwy).  This is what concerns me know with this.  Emergency responders could not just drive to the other house, for these are hike in places off of the shared drive. They would waste too much time still guessing which of these 3 houses could it be.

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MikeCusi
Occasional Contributor II

You could separate segment distances with "/" for branching roads/junctions. "25mi/135ft/149ft" could mean turn at junction 25 miles from 0 along HW, Then turn at junction 135ft from there, then house that is 149ft from last junction.

Perhaps you can also add an extra column or two in your database to accommodate the lat-long for each house. If you have a road network defined, the points defined by the lat-long can also be used in conjunction with it so that emergency services could use that for such cases. As you are working with a blank canvas.....

DrewLindow
New Contributor II

I'm also a new Addressing GIS tech at the Fairbanks North Star Borough. What we do for our main highways is have two overlapping series of line segments for each highway. One series is ranged using our standard numbering system which is one address number every 16.5 ft (Chapter 17.10 GENERAL PROVISIONS). The other series is numbered using mile markers, but the numbers are multiplied by 100 so that there is no overlap between numbers in the standard system and the mileage system. This way when a firefighter looks at their page and they see 33100 they know its mile 331 not house 331.

As far as development goes, generally if there are buildings going up by multiple owners there will be a road easement from the highway that gets platted and named and the addresses will be assigned off that. If there are multiple buildings from the same owner with only a private driveway, for example a bunch of rental cabins (which is common here) we will often give them sub-addresses (1234 Parks Hwy Cabin A, B, C, etc). Let me know if you have any questions!

JoeBorgione
MVP Esteemed Contributor

Molly and Drew-  I suggest coming up with some sort of grid system for your respective area of operations.  Section, Township and Range probably already exists.  Typically addresses are thought of as address per mile: Drew, yours is 320 per mile. Where I live it's about 800 per mile.  You can use the grid to base your addressing:  north-south, east-west meridians are imho very helpful. A town center works nicely as the origin.

As far as having two addressing schemas, I think you are looking for trouble; working exclusively in 9-1-1 addressing for the past 11 years has taught me a thing or two.  I've had to deal with vacation cabins too:  we had them post inside the cabin the address and unit (A,B C, whatever) on a small poster entitled something like "If you Need to Call 9-1-1..."

I would also suggest using the USPS naming conventions for streets, and come up with a scheme that defines what various street types are:  STREET, LANE, RD, DRIVE, COURT etc....

A google search of "developing an addressing scheme for streets" just gave me a ton of results.

can't wait to retire....