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Promising New Addressing System For Rural Areas
Let's see, the Brown Farm is two miles west, a half mile north, three miles east and another quarter mile south of Podunk. Or was it two miles east, a half mile south, three miles west ...?
Anyone who has tried to find a farm in a rural area knows how difficult it can be. One hill looks like the next. The same with shelter belts and mile lanes, especially at night.
Komard Burkle, of Dickinson, N. Dak., hopes to make things a little easier. He's come up with a rural address system that would give farms easy-fo-fmd street ad-dresses and house numbers, like those in the city.
Burkle, emergency coordinator for North Dakota's Stark County, devised the address system one night after he attended a meeting of county officials in southwestern North Dakota. The officials were trying to figure out a way to identify rural roads. Buckle went home and thought about their problem. Then it came to him.
"Cities have been addressing homes for hundreds of years. Why not use the same methods in rural areas?
If Burkle's system were applied to North Dakota, one imaginary line would run east and west across the state, roughly along State Highway 200, and another would run north and south on a line about 12 miles east of Bismarck, dividing the state into four equal parts: northeast, southeast, northwest and southwest.
For purposes of assigning addresses, the east-west line would be known as Main Street, while the north-south reference would be called Main Avenue.
Farms would then be assigned "house numbers" along an imaginary "street" or "avenue," according to how far they are from Main Street and Main Avenue.
House numbers would be assigned at 1/ 50th-mile intervals. Each mile would have house numbers 0 through 99, with odd numbers on one side of a road and even numbers on the other. Streets and avenues would be numbered in miles.
So, a farmer living at 1550 128th Rural Ave. S.W., would live 15.5 miles south of Main Street and 128 miles west of Main Avenue.
If adopted statewide, Burkle's system would be unique. There is no statewide system of addressing roads in any other U.S. state, according to U.S. Postal Service officials. However, some counties or groups of counties in some states have their own rural address systems.
If Burkle's plan is adopted, county officials would have to decide how to mark streets they could mark every other mile, or every few miles.
Burkle's plan has met with the approval of U.S. Postal Service officials in North Dakota.
"We think it would be a viable plan, and it would be consistent with out addressing systems," says Ray Lauer, a Postal Service worker in Bismarck.
Burkle has talked about his addressing system with several groups, including the North Dakota Association of Public Officials, the Emergency Management and 911 committees in Bismarck and the executive committee of the North Dakota Association of Counties.
Counties are responsible for their rural roads, so county officials would be the ones who would have to approve such as system, unless the state legislature decided other-wise.
Over the years, about a half of the counties in North Dakota have been interested in developing some type of rural address system, says Mark Johnson, executive director of the North Dakota Association of counties.
Johnson notes that Burkle's plan sounds good and has generated quite a bit of inter-est. Stills, Johnson hopes the system wouldn't be forced on counties through legislative action, but rather left up to individual counties to approve.
"The system could be costly," Johnson says. "Once the signs were erected, for example, they would have to be maintained. Without some state aid, the system could be a drain on counties."
But, Burkle doesn't think money should deter counties from adopting the program. "If money is your object, you'll never do anything," says Johnson. Burkle suggests that counties not try to mark every road in the first year, but rather spread the expense over several years.
If anyone from any state or province would like more details of the proposed new rural addressing system, contact FARM SHOW Followup,

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1988 - Volume #12, Issue #3