WISE — A road by any other name is still a road, but in Wise County the roads less traveled can carry some colorful monikers.
This coming week the Wise County Board of Supervisors will consider setting a Nov. 1 public hearing for E-911 road name additions. Nearly six pages worth of new road names, in fact, roughly half suggested by the county’s E-911 department and the other half by trailer park owners.
The county usually doesn’t consider so many new road names at one time — in this case, a whopping 76 new road names. In response to an inquiry by Big Stone Gap Supervisor Virginia Meador, Wise County Administrator Glen “Skip” Skinner said the bureaucracy involved in putting a name on a road isn’t quite as simple as nailing a sign to a tree or fence post.
U.S. Postal Service authorities in Charleston, W.Va., must give their blessing to all road name additions and/or changes in their service area, Skinner said, and E-911 road name proposals have been backed up by the bottleneck.
Still awaiting official recognition as bona fide road names in Wise County are quite a collection of handles that range from the imaginative to the whimsical.
Proposals by the E-911 department off Caney Ridge Road, for example, include Cloudburst Lane, Lightning Lane and Sprinkle Lane. After negotiating all those stormy country roads, one naturally eventually arrives at a sweet turn onto Rainbow Lane.
Hilltop Trailer Court off Dnor Road would get some mining heritage references like Cage Lane, Tipple Lane, Auger Lane and Jawbone Road. Some residents off Birchfield Road are due the draw of Lucky Circle, and others off Pole Bridge Road can justify a neighborhood road-naming party with Festival Lane.
There are submissions like Ladybug Lane off Greene Road, Whistler Road off Riverview Road, Starla Lane off Trent Street S.E., and Lilac and Lavender Lanes off Riverview Road. One assumes motorists will be extra careful when turning onto Crusher Road off Buckingham Road, or onto Foggy Lane off Crab Orchard Road S.E., not to mention the fierce turn onto Grizzley Lane located off East 26th Street S.
There would be Gunite Road off Buckingham, Evening Star off Bedford, Applebox off Old Mill Village, and what’s a collection of country byways unless there’s at least one Dusty Road in the mix, located off Boggs Hollow Road?
Who knows the karma to be generated by Utopia Lane located off Central Street S.W., let alone nods to the flower child spaced-out “Star Trek” generation like Calypso, Orion, Dawn, Odyssey, Phoenix Loop, Hubble, Atlantis, Aura, Voyager and, of course, Aquarius, all located off Old Hurricane Road in Breeding Trailer Park. Then there’s Chariot Road, also off Old Hurricane, but one assumes the gendarmes will take a dim view of modern-day Ben Hurs staging wild, take-no-prisoners races along that thoroughfare.
Trailer park owners offered their own fade-into-the-sunset suggestions like Cowboy Road off Roosevelt and Lonesome Road off Dungannon, and what roadmap would be complete without a Memory Lane, located off Morgan Drive?
There would be a Zorro and a Lobo, both off Irondale Road, and if there is to be an Angel Lane located off Centre Avenue N.E., naturally there’s just got to be a Mean Mule Road off Crab Orchard if only to maintain a semblance of balance in the universe of road names.
There are animal and flower suggestions galore, including Bobcat, Grouse, Woodpecker, Hawk, Rabbit, Quail, Raccoon and Squirrel, all located off Baum Hollow Road and submitted by park owner Steve Riggs. And if there’s to be dancing in any road, surely Foxtrot Lane will be the hotspot, located off Mountain View and submitted by property owners Robert and Bonita Stair.