City of Terrace to change way streets are named

Goal is to reflect modern notable people and First Nations

The city is looking to institute a new process by which names for new streets can be chosen.

With several plans in the works for subdivisions and new roads at the Skeena Industrial Development Park, a report to council calls for guidelines as to how to choose street names.

Director of development services David Block said that a current list of 95 names is going to be, if not shredded, then at least pared down and then expanded with names that better reflect certain groups including modern notable people and First Nations.

“Absent from that list are any First Nations members of their community,” Block said of the current list, noting that the names don’t have notes explaining who the person was and why they should have a street named after them. Some of names are of people who only lived in Terrace for a couple of years.

The new naming policy will include, once finalized and voted by council, guidelines for submitting suggested names.

No longer driven by the current limiting guidelines that names must be of “pioneers and contributors” the new naming policy will allow for flora, fauna, history and events and does not mention the term pioneer in particular, changing the term to something more general, “to commemorate a prominent resident.”

“I would hope we are still in the habit of naming our streets after people,” said councillor Lynne Christiansen during discussion of the issue at the Nov. 10 council meeting.

Other guidelines include length limitations for instance limiting names to 18 letters and not allowing names that serve a commercial promotional purpose.

The policy also aims to have themes for different areas.

“We looked at a naming pattern for future streets, and that would be names taken from the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway, for example with Pacific Crescent, on the east side of [Hwy37 South] which is a dedicated road with no pavement yet,” said Block, referring to part of the Skeena Industrial Development Park that is being built out.

The city has recently undertaken one specific street naming and that is to change the name of Industrial Way, the main road leading to the major portion of the industrial park to the west of Hwy37 South south of the airport.

It is to be called Jack Talstra Way after the former mayor who first began promoting the area as a city-owned industrial park more than a decade ago.