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New Header Again December 14, 2006

Posted by caveblogem in Blogs and Blogging, Lowell, Massachusetts Drivers, Other.

That’s a new header picture up above.  I took it on the way to work the other day.  I know it’s not the only street like this in the world, or even in Massachusetts, but it just completely mindsplats me every time I drive by it.  Both of the signs, the one reading “Grosvenor” and the one reading “Broulette” are for the same street.  The street perpendicular to this oddity is called “Middlesex Avenue.”


Some maps I have seen call this street Grosvenor.  Yahoo Maps just calls it Broulette.  The picture above is from the folks at Google, who are covering all the bases (notice how the lower street in yellow has three different names in that small frame).  You can’t tell from the map, of course, but the street is only about fifty meters long, tops.  It’s unclear where exactly the street changes its name.  Perhaps the residents know.  I wonder if it causes them problems with their mail service. 

When I first moved to Massachusetts I lived on First Street Blvd.  Yeah, it is a boulevard called “First Street.”  It is also called, along a three mile stretch the following names:

  • Merrimack Avenue
  • Highway 110
  • The VFW Highway
  • Pawtucket Boulevard

None of this seems to bother anybody else out here. 

Once when I was much younger a man named Bono sang a song about a place where “the streets have no names.”  I’d settle for a place where streets just have one name, but I think I know how he was feeling.

But that’s not how I feel right now.  Right now I feel conflicted about this blog and about my career.  Thus the new header.


1. strugglingwriter - December 14, 2006

I like the new header. I also hate it when a street seems to randomly change names.

I hope you find the answers you are looking for.

2. prairieflounder - December 15, 2006

Amazing. I thought we had it bad.
I live in a rural area and most of the roads are county roads that cut through cities, so the half mile section of Main Street is also called in this order, West Main Street, C257, WCR392, and East Main Street.
But most of the time its quite logical:
WCR 14 ½ Yep its in-between WCR 13 and 15.
Silly but logical.

BTW I like the new Header.


3. caveblogem - December 15, 2006


Thanks for the kind thoughts. I’m not sure I am looking for any answer in particular other than the one that keeps rearing its ugly head. I’d settle for any answer other than “wait,” I think.

4. caveblogem - December 15, 2006


“Silly but logical.” What terrifies me in these situations is when I find that there is an underlying logic to some of it. There are several roads that lead out of town here and are named for the towns to which they lead. “Andover Street,” for example, leads to Andover, MA. At some point, of course, you get to Andover, when it becomes “Lowell Street.” Perfectly logical. But when you take a broader view, you find it a little troubling that there must be several different “Lowell Streets” leading into my City from adjacent ones.

My mind relentlessly looks for that kind of logic in the world. I can’t seem to help it. So it’s no wonder I am so confused all of the time.

5. D. Eckhart - December 17, 2006

I used to live on a street that was N 203rd on on one block and N 206th on the next. It was a nice, square grid system there, too–so it’s not like N 203rd veered over and ended up where N 206th street would have been. And that wasn’t the only one. I know there were two different NE 158ths that did not connect and were not parallel.When I moved to the area I used to have a heck of a time getting around, because the numbers on all the streets drifted as you went. I don’t know how anyone finds their way through messes like that.

Cripes, it makes me crazy. What the point of naming the blamed thing if the name is neither unique nor dependable?

6. caveblogem - December 17, 2006

D. Eckhart,

I know what you mean. I slag Massachusetts signage a lot because it seems so much worse than the Pacific Northwest, or California, where I grew up. But in a way these places can be worse. They can lull you with a false sense of predictability.

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