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HomeNewsLocal governmentResidents Picking Street Names as Address Initiative Enters Final Phase

Residents Picking Street Names as Address Initiative Enters Final Phase

Chris George of the Lieutenant Governor’s Offices updates senators Monday on the Street Addressing Initiative. (Photo courtesy V.I. Legislature)

The V.I. Street Addressing Initiative has been in the works for over a decade. Chris George, the program administrator at the Office of the Lieutenant Governor, told the Committee of the Whole Monday it is now in its final phase. He testified that residents may see completed signage in neighborhoods within two years and the beginning of some highway signage within a month.

Senate President Novelle Francis Jr. called it “light at the end of the tunnel.” He added that in 1997 when he was with the police department, he saw the need for street names and street addresses.

George, in his update to the senators on the project, said that “Street addressing, or lack thereof, can affect the quality of services in many aspects of our lives, from emergency services to food delivery, from utilities to postal mail, curbside trash pickup, taxi services, senior and disability services.”

According to George, the Street Addressing Initiative is understood to accomplish three objectives: Creating a nationally standardized addressing system explicitly designed for the territory, 2) Fabricating and installing street name signs, and 3) Educating the public about the process and the system.

Senators mentioned that GPS systems such as Google Maps did not work as well in the territory as in the states, although they were improving. George said his team had been feeding information it gathered to GPS systems and should be given credit for GPS’s improvement in recent years.

He added that the “Street Addressing Initiative is the largest infrastructure project to be set upon since the USVI road systems were built.”

The project’s total cost will be about $5.3 million.

A big part of the project is getting official names for all the neighborhood streets; George said 40 percent of the territory’s small streets did not have names, and it would take community participation to develop those names. As an example of how that could be done, he cited Grove Place. He said residents there had contacted his office and wanted to get names for the unnamed streets in their community, which is at the door of the rain forest in central St. Croix.

Owners living on a street were contacted, and if most of the residents agreed on a name for a street, it was given that name. George said 20 streets in Grove Place were named.

Sens.  Novelle Francis Jr., Marvin Blyden, Diane Capehart, Dwayne DeGraff, Ray Fonseca, Alma Francis Heyliger, Donna Frett-Gregory, Kenneth Gittens, Javan James Sr., Franklin Johnson, Carla Joseph, and Milton Potter attended Monday’s meeting.

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