Name That Street

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An anonymous determined citizen made and installed this unofficial sign.
An anonymous determined citizen made and installed this unofficial sign.

“Library Street” was the frontrunner in an online preference poll of names for the new street under construction in downtown that will one day lead to a new Crozet library. With 150 people notching an opinion on RealCrozetVa.com, a website run by local realtor Jim Duncan, Library Street” racked up 63 fans. “Barnes Street” placed second, preferred by 31 people and “Lumber Street” was selected 18 times.

When the Crozet Master Plan called for a street to be built that would parallel Rt. 240 on the south side of the tracks, planners dubbed the dotted line on the maps as “main street.” But Crozet had its Main Street—now called Crozet Avenue—for decades. The name was changed as part of the implementation of the 911 system. Crozetians whose memories found the planners’ name jarring called it “new main street.”

When the street’s construction was actually begun, the Crozet Gazette called for citizens to nominate a different name for it. Three names were proposed by more than one person: Library Street, Barnes Street and Lumber Street. Another half dozen names were suggested by one person, among them Owen, Conley, Ellison, Decamp, Peach, Cider and Carroll.

At the Crozet Community Association meeting Nov. 11, the candidate names were discussed and a short list was referred to the county for cross-checking against existing names.

Four names survived as viable: Library, Barnes, Lumber and Decamp. At the Crozet Community Advisory Council meeting Nov. 18, councilors eliminated Decamp on the grounds that its Crozet connection—it was Claudius Crozet’s wife’s maiden name—was too obscure and would not be understood by the public. The CCAC asked RealCrozetVa website to post the possibilities to gather community opinion about which is the most suitable name before making a formal recommendation to the county.

Meanwhile, a determined citizen actually made a sign, nicely painted on wood and securely mounted on a traffic barrel, that declared question closed: the name would be “Peach Street.” But, no. Not official, county spokesman Lee Catlin said. The county has a process for assigning street names and it has not yet been employed over this street.

Besides offering a chance to choose among the three top contenders, the website took write-in nominations. “Peach Street” was proposed four times, “Cider Street” was suggested twice and “Amato Street,” “South Street,” and “Mervin Avenue” were suggested.

The CCAC will make a recommendation to the county at its Jan. 20 meeting. Given that a name will be needed for the street connecting the new street to The Square, two names are likely to be recommended.