Last week, I attended a meeting for work in Cherry Hill, N.J. After I somehow got off the main roads without making a left turn, I was able to drive through the neighborhood to find my destination — the Cherry Hill Library. While driving slowly, and peering over my steering wheel like a typical out-of-towner/elderly person, I read the street signs methodically.
I thought to myself, “Man, they really phoned these street names in.”
Tampa, Miami and Daytona avenues? Connecticut, Massachusetts and New York avenues?
Really, New Jersey? I know there are a ton of streets that need to be named, but you had to resort to state names … and then cities and Florida?
What’s “Miami” about Camden County?
On Tuesday night, the Abington School Board revealed a plan to name the roads within the junior high and senior high school campuses — the roads that didn’t already have a name, anyway. The idea makes sense: give first responders an easier way of finding something on campus.
During the presentation, Abington School District Facilities Supervisor Stephen Saile said jokingly that the names weren’t very creative … and I got a little worried.
How uncreative could they be? Well, the names are: Junior High School Drive, Campus Drive, Senior High School Drive, Stadium Drive and, my favorite, Administration Drive.
See the story here.
If you’re an alumnus, like I am, I don’t have to tell you which roads will be slapped with which names. The names clearly make sense. But, as an alumnus, I think the district missed out on doing something special. (How dull is “Administration Drive?” It makes me think of “The Simpsons” episode where they move to “Maple Systems Road.”)
A quick trip to the school district’s website — or an actual trip to the high school’s lobby — reveals the names of the former students who made it to the school’s Hall of Fame.
Some of the names are internationally known — who hasn’t ridden in an upscale car with Amar Bose’s name on the speaker grille? (Class of 1947, by the way.) What about the sitcom star-turned cult-hero Bob Saget? Wouldn’t “Saget Lane” or “Bose Drive” have more panache, and historical significance than “Campus Drive?”
What about prominent local alumni? Oscar Vance, Class of 1959, and former Montco Chief of Detectives, has a name that lends itself nicely to a road, so does the late Michael Gillespie, an Abington Commissioner, former police officer and Class of 1956 alumnus.
Whether the streets receive real names, or they retain the cookie-cutter names, there is going to be a learning period for students, staff and guests. If that's the case, why not have street names that evoke a simple, “Huh …”