Residents in the Cruz Bay area last week began finding information packets hanging from their doorknobs as field crews began the process of implementing a logical addressing system in the neighborhood.
The Street Addressing Initiative, being overseen by Lieutenant Governor Gregory Francis’ office, aims to name all streets and number all buildings across the territory in an effort to bring local addresses into conformity with national standards.
Having a uniform and logical street address system is expected to improve everything from mail delivery to emergency response times and vehicle navigation systems.
Legislation for the initiative was sponsored by Senator Craig Barshinger in 2010 and the pilot program was launched this March on St. Croix. Cruz Bay is the second neighborhood to take part in the pilot program, which will wrap up with Charlotte Amalie later this month.
Field crews will be leaving an information packet at every residence and business in the pilot area. This packet contains the new address that has been assigned to the location, which will include a number and a street name.
Residents are asked to verify that the project team correctly understands their existing address information as reported in property tax databases and contact the Lt. Gov.’s Office if the address information listed is incorrect. Contact information and instructions are provided in the packet material.
Although most roads in the Cruz Bay pilot area are named, there are unnamed streets in Estates Enighed and Contant that have been assigned temporary names.
Residents on these unnamed streets are encouraged to work together to identify a suitable name for their road, which can then be submitted to the Lt. Gov.’s office.
The Street Addressing Initiative will not remove the territory’s traditional estate names, but will add numbers and street names to the current system, officials explained at a January meeting on the program.
The Lt. Governor’s Office contracted the University of the Virgin Islands for the project, which in turn subcontracted AppGeo and Spatial Focus. Those two stateside-based companies have experience creating the type of street-based addresses which are expected to improve everything from public safety response, to parcel deliveries and car navigation systems, according to officials at the January meeting.
The project, which has been discussed for years and planned for the past two, will improve public safety, explained Raymond Williams, Lt. Gov. Gregory Francis’ Chief of Staff.
“We are far, far behind the ball in developing a uniform street addressing system,” Williams said. “In order to get better safety and security in our communities we need a uniform system of addressing.”
The initial legislation appropriated about $500,000 for the project, but officials will need more like $1.5 million to complete the Street Addressing Initiative, according to Barshinger.
Street naming guidelines are available at www.ltg.gov.vi. For more information on the Street Addressing Initiative, contact Chris George, GIS Coordinator/SAI Project Manager, at (340) 776-8505 x 4321 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.