Most counties develop a pattern when the county roads are named. We did the same when the naming was done in Guthrie County. The intent is to use short, easy to spell names. This is for several reasons beyond making it easy for people to remember and to write. Short names also mean short sign blades that translate into less expensive sign blades. Shorter sign blades also mean less damage in high winds.

Names were also chosen so that the likelihood of theft was less. Obviously, a name like Cyclone St or Hawkeye Road would be pretty likely to be grabbed. The same would be true of Lisa Lane. So names like Yellow Avenue and Wax Trail were chosen. Although these aren’t very “exciting” names, they are better than A Avenue or R Street that some counties chose.

The naming also follows a pattern. First, Guthrie County uses only SIX descriptive names for simplicity and description. Highways are just that; state and federal highways. These were already on the map so why “rename” them. Roads are County paved roadways. Avenues are essentially north/south gravel roadways. Streets are essentially east/west gravel roadways. Trails are longer but winding gravel roadways heading in several directions. Lanes are short gravel roadways, usually dead ends.

Next, avenues always have names. And the names have a pattern in that the standard State rules are to start at the west side of the county with A and alphabetically go across the county. Essentially that’s what was done in Guthrie County so that Bowman Ave is on the west side of the County and Zenith Road is on the east side of the County.

There are exceptions. The western county line avenue is called Swift Ave. because Audubon County had already named its roadways and it makes no sense to have people living on opposite sides of the same roadway having a different name. For the same reason, the Dallas County line roadway is called A Avenue. Another exception is that one specific roadway is named out of sequence. Herndon Road is not where the H should be but since it goes to Herndon an exception was made. There are a couple of other exceptions of avenues that are Dallas County ones that just barely come into Guthrie County … Amarillo and Abilene.

Streets always have numbers. The State guideline is to start at 100th St at the top of the county and go down with each mile being ten more numbers. Thus 100th St, 110th St., etc. If you have 105th St, then you know you are a half mile down through the mile section. This pattern is followed with two exceptions. What would have been 260th Rd is called Monteith Road due to it passing through Monteith. Also, when old Highway 925 was given back to the County by the State, it was named White Pole Road rather than 340th Road to promote the White Pole Road development group.

Roads, lanes, and trails follow this same naming pattern depending on whether they are primarily north/south or east/west roadways. So we have such roadways as North Lane, 305th Trail, and 285th Road. By having this simple and consistent naming arrangement, if you have a little map savvy, you can find any roadway on the map rather quickly.

February, 2013