Come March, residents along Buffalo, Poole and Richardson roads in Wendell will be changing their addresses to Wendell Falls Parkway.
With the support of the planning department and public safety departments in town, commissioners voted to streamline the 4-mile stretch of road to reflect the upcoming subdivision in town.
Some residents wanted to compromise, retaining the Buffalo Street name closer to downtown and have the Wendell Falls Parkway name further away from the downtown region.
Ray Hinnant, of Lake Drive and president of the Wendell Historical Society, said while he opposed the change, he thinks it would be better to change the name of Richardson and Poole roads to Wendell Falls Parkway and leave North and South Buffalo Streets within the town limits, unchanged.
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“We all know there are streets that change names,” he told commissioners. “I don't think it would do any harm to keep Buffalo Street inside the town limits.”
But some residents, especially those who live on Buffalo Street, didn’t like the idea of picking one name for all four miles.
Dale Pixley, who lives on North Buffalo Street, said the Wendell Falls name doesn’t include residents who don’t plan to live in the Wendell Falls neighborhood.
"I really disagree with this name change,” Pixley said at the commissioner’s meeting. “Buffalo Street has been around for decades and decades, much longer than I've lived where I live now. Wendell Falls is a subdivision. I don't live in a subdivision.”
But town officials said the change would be, above all other considerations, the safest option.
"As we get more and more calls along this five-street corridor, we increase the chances of missing calls because we went to the wrong road,” Staples said. “I don't have an opinion on what you should call the road, but from a safety and efficiency perspective, it would be good if we could have this all one name.”
Wendell Falls Parkway is the only one of those five names that doesn't have a duplicate somewhere else in the county. Town staff said it may also be a good economic tool to have one name as well.
"It was also thought that keeping Wendell in the name would enhance economic development efforts," Planning Director David Bergmark said of the recommendation to use Wendell Falls Parkway. He said that Wake County would have to pass a similar name change to address the parts of the road that lie in the county.
The discussion about renaming the road was brought to the planning department’s attention by the North Carolina Department of Transportation when Newland Communities restarted the Wendell Falls project.
DOT suggested picking one name once it was established Newland would keep the Wendell Falls name on the road through the subdivision.