Drivers around North Raleigh’s Wakefield area will have new street names to learn starting Oct. 15.
The Raleigh City Council voted last week to drop the “New” from New Falls of Neuse Road, the main road through Wakefield from the Neuse River to Capital Boulevard.
That stretch will become Falls of Neuse Road on Oct. 15, while the two-lane section from Bedford north to N.C. 98 in Wake Forest will become Old Falls of Neuse Road.
City officials say the name change will help eliminate confusion among drivers and emergency responders, because the current traffic set-up requires drivers to turn left or right near Bedford to stay on Falls of Neuse. Businesses and residents would change only the street name of their addresses, not the street number.
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The change could initially cause problems for drivers who rely on GPS directions or online mapping services. For example, anyone who plugs in 13200 Falls of Neuse Road – the new address of the Wakefield Food Lion shopping center – might get directed astray to the corner of N.C. 98 and what will become Old Falls of Neuse Road.
Mike Gutekunst, the city’s GIS database administrator, says Wake County officials will make sure maps get changed.
“Wake County’s process is to send those changes to Google Maps, Bing Maps, Navteq, and TeleAtlas,” Gutekunst explained. “These changes are sent after new signs are actually installed. ... Owners of GPS devices will need to update their maps as they normally do with new downloads of street information.”
As for the street signs, the change should come relatively cheaply. Transportation Operations Manager Mike Kennon says each new sign costs $35.