Developers often see naming streets as their way of making a mark, naming streets after daughters, alma maters, or the family dog. But they often find themselves tangled up in regulations and the limits of their own creativity.
"For every new neighborhood built these days, there's a developer struggling to name its streets. Counties often prohibit duplication, where you cannot have, for example, a Pine Street and a Pine Lane. Each proposed name is vetted by officials with planning, public works and the local 911 call center. Developers say they'll submit 100 names for 25 streets, because most get rejected.
'It's very difficult to come up with new names,' said Jim Anderson, director of Raleigh operations for Crosland, a builder of homes, apartments and retail centers. 'There's a very low success rate.'
"So developers create theme neighborhoods. Out in Knightdale, past meadows, horses, stables and barns, you'll come upon the Churchill community. It is modeled after Churchill Downs, home of the Kentucky Derby, and streets are named for race winners such as Secretariat, Smarty Jones and Sunday Silence.
'We don't have a Seattle Slew,' Anderson said, referencing the 1977 Triple Crown-winning thoroughbred. 'It got killed because there was a Seattle Street [already].'"