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Join the Immortals: Get a Street Named for You

September 28, 1986|LOUIS HILL | Special to The Times

If you are searching for lasting evidence of your earthly presence, you might consider getting a street to carry your name.

You can submit your name for a street anytime. Occasionally, a developer will submit a tract plan in which streets are designated A, B, C, etc., until names are chosen.

It is not an uncommon practice to personalize streets. Builders and developers often include their own names in street designations. On occasion, developers may include their entire families and friends in street names.

In the past, city planners have not objected to such choices, but in recent times, developers and builders have resorted to more exotic choices to entice potential purchasers of homes. This practice is called theme use and revolves around a concept related to the tract itself.

Names of Shis

In Huntington Beach, one tract has taken the names of ships, boats, and parts of boats. Such names as Skiff, Schooner, Anchor, etc. become a unified whole.

In the city of Cypress, near Los Alamitos race track, street names have utilized a famous race horse theme, including Whirlaway, Ponder and Citation. While nearby, in Los Alamitos, subdivision developers have settled on famous aircraft carriers, such as the Lexington, Midway, Enterprise and Saratoga.

Old-time street names have gone out of fashion. Main Street and Broad Street are seldom used, and hard-pressed, old-time city planners who ran out of names and resorted to alphabetical street names, such as A Street, B Street or number streets like 15th and 282nd, would find such designations without appeal. But most streets still run east and west, and avenues, north and south.

If you are a famous person, such as a President, your name will be attached to a street or avenue. Reagan Street in Los Alamitos runs east and west and Nixon Circle in Tustin runs in several directions.

Few Restrictions

There are few restrictions on street names. City planners draw the line at ridiculous names or those in bad taste, and if a developer runs out of names, they will give it one. After all, the name is all-important for city services. Fire and police departments and the U.S. Postal Service require street names to serve householders.

To get your name attached to a street, you have two methods. The easier one is to know a developer with a blank street in his plans. The second method is to submit your name to the city planners and wait for an unnamed street to appear.

There is a third way: Build your own street and name it after yourself.

Shakespeare would know what's in a name. At least three streets in Orange County bear his name.

Hill is a Cypress-based free-lance writer.

DR, PETE BENTOVOJA / Los Angeles Times

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