Old Street, New Name

Old Street, New Name

The houses are where they've always been, but residents now have different addresses.

When she left for Canada, Susan Jacobson lived on Slater's Lane in Alexandria. When she came home last week, her address was Massey Lane. "It was bizarre," Jacobson said. "I drove onto my street and it wasn't there anymore. There is a new sign that says Massey Lane. I didn't understand."

The change was passed as part of a development special use permit application for Potomac Plaza.

"City Council approved it in May of 2003 and notices were sent to all affected residents at that time," said Rasheda DuPree, an urban planner for the city. "Then, in August of this year, the change in street signage was made. We sent out notices, but a number of people were on vacation and didn't receive the most recent information. I guess it was a surprise to them."

Not only a surprise but an inconvenience. "I have a home business," Jacobson said. "I get a lot of deliveries and now companies like Federal Express and UPS can't find me."

There's also the issue of changing business cards, checks and identification and credit cards with the old, nonexistent address on them.

"We made the change to the north loop of Slater's Lane because that was going to affect the fewest number of existing addresses," DuPree said. "We notified the postmaster, all of the utility companies and fire and EMS, of course, but private companies wouldn't necessarily have been informed."

The police have gotten the word.

"We get information about all street changes and have been informed about Massey Lane," said Amy Bertsch, a spokesperson for the Alexandria Police Department. "We do need to know about the names of new streets, even when people are not yet living on them. When Cameron Station was being built, construction equipment was stolen and, without the street address, we wouldn't have been able to investigate. This case is a little more unusual because we have changed the name of an existing street, but we are aware of it."