City might rename county roads
B, B2, C and D sound too rural, some complain

BY STEVE SCOTT, Pioneer Press
10/27/06

Alphabet City may be a trendy address in New York's East Village, but some folks in Roseville complain the roads in their city named simply B, C and D conjure up nothing more than alphabet soup.

"National retailers call Rosedale Center and say, 'Sorry, sir, but your shopping center sounds like it's rural; you're located off County Road B,' " Roseville tourism official Lois Sinn Lindquist said. "It's an uphill battle to explain we're part of the urban core of a metro area.''

That's why the Roseville Visitors Association is encouraging the city to change the names of its prominent east-west roads: Ramsey County Roads B, B2, C and D.

Although the county operates the roads, the city can name them as they choose, likely without county interference.

"Nobody lived out there when those roads were named,'' Ramsey County Public Works Director Ken Haider said. "Way back when most of the county was still farming, I don't think anyone worried about what the names were.''

Many of the county roads cross several cities. County Road E, for example, traverses Arden Hills, Gem Lake, New Brighton, Shoreview, Vadnais Heights and White Bear Lake.

But city councils have the authority to come up with new names only within their city limits.

That could result in a mishmash of monikers for the same road, such as the abundantly named Century Avenue-Geneva Avenue-Minnesota 120-Division Street running north-south along Ramsey County's eastern border.

The Roseville Visitors Association says supporters of the renaming effort within the city include emergency dispatchers, Roseville Mayor Craig Klausing, County Commissioner Jan Parker, a U.S. Postal Service address manager and the general manager of the Rosedale mall.

"And our hotels would like their overnight guests to feel they're not out in the sticks,'' said Sinn Lindquist, a past director of the Roseville Visitors Association.

Name changes have precedent. Larpenteur Avenue used to be County Road A, and Roselawn Avenue was County Road A-2.

Then again, some changes went in reverse. County Road C was formerly Robinson Lake Road on its west end and Fairchild Avenue on the east.

"It would be nice if all the cities could agree on a name,'' said the county's Haider. "Frankly, I don't think the county would care much one way or another. "The problem is that everybody who has an address on that road has to change their address,'' he said. "That becomes a huge task. That's more an issue the city has to deal with. They would have to deal with the residents.''

Steve Scott may be reached at 651-228-5526 or sscott@pioneerpress.com.

"Our hotels would like their overnight guests to feel they're not out in the sticks."

Lois Sinn Lindquist, Roseville tourism official

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