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Where did the roads get their names?

Emma Witmer

Greene Publishing, Inc.

Have you ever wondered where your road got its name? In the early 1990's, the Madison County Addressing Office went through the county regulating road names and giving many unmarked roads official names. This was done to assist EMS reach Madison County residents' homes quickly in the case of an emergency. By filing official names for all roads with structures, all emergency services need to get to your location is an address. These names were not simply chosen at random; there was a method to the madness. All roads in the northeast quadrant of the county are named after plants and trees. In the southeast quadrant, all roads are given historic names, many of which were chosen by consultation from the Madison County Historical Society. Roads in the southwest quadrant have geographic names, and roads in the northwest quadrant have animal names.

Additionally, these road names fall in relative alphabetical order. Avenues and Ways run from north to south, and all Streets and Trails run from east to west. Ways and Trails, however, are typically dead ends. If a road sign is green and white, the road is county maintained. White and black road signs are maintained by the city, and blue and white roads signs indicate a private road. While representatives from the Addressing Office stress that residents may not change the name of their road, the office does try to be accommodating. If a road is being named, residents on the road may be consulted on the naming of the road. If a road changes names through action of the Addressing Office, they will cover the cost of driver's licenses with updated addresses. As some have had difficulty accepting road name changes, it is important to remember that any road name or address changes made by the Addressing Office are made to ensure the safety of all Madison County residents by providing equal opportunity for the best emergency care.

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