Residents oppose changing street name

By Amanda Liberatore

The Champaign City Council and various citizens residing on Valleybrook South Drive debated an ordinance changing the name of the street to Wintergreen Drive.

The name change has been proposed because there has been confusion between Valleybrook South Drive and Valley Brook Drive, both in the same neighborhood.

After public comments on the issue, the Council voted to change the name of Valleybrook South Drive. However, the council and residents have 30 days to finalize a new street name. It will be implemented by 2009.

“I can definitely say that changing the name of this street would be a large inconvenience,” said Dana Kennedy, resident of Valleybrook South.

After petitioning residents of the neighborhood, Kennedy said 33 of the 35 homes oppose the change.

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She added that in 2006 the Public Works Department had informed the residents that they would need 70 percent to approve the name change.

“Changing the name would start a whole slew of problems, in addition to the fact that people take great value in the address itself,” she said. “It would just be a complete hassle for us to have to change our addresses like this, after it has been this way for years.”

Other citizens spoke up in protest as well.

“I agree, something needs to be changed because people on Valleybrook Drive have been experiencing mail mix-ups and various other problems,” said Pam Grubb, resident of Valleybrook South Drive. “However, we should discuss alternate changes, like creating a new address numbering system for the residents of Valleybrook South.”

The council had their own opinions when it came to the matter.

“There have been so many problems regarding this issue, and I have received many e-mails from residents of Valleybrook Drive in complaint,” said Dist. 5 Council member Ken Pirok. “One woman said that a lawn company fertilized her yard two days in a row because of an address mix-up.”

At-Large Council member Thomas Bruno concurred with Pirok’s view.

“Look, it also comes down to an issue of public safety,” he said. “An emergency service may go to the wrong address because of a mix-up. When it comes down to somebody’s safety and a street name change, we must go with the safety aspect.”