Another streetscape enhancement


  1. I’m finding it interesting that newer downtown-area street signs omit the north or south on the street signs. I notice it especially going south on Division. The older embossed signs say (correctly) DIVISION ST S, but the newer signs (e.g., at Woodley and Division) say simply DIVISION ST.

    Even weirder to me is that south of Marvin Lane, the Division Street name disappears entirely. Jefferson and Division is marked STATE HWY 246. Using the highway number makes sense on Hwy 3, which really has no other name, but I’m not sure why it’s used on those intersections, when all things located on the road have an address of Division St South (New Middle School, Servicemaster, etc).

    But back to Water and Bridge Square, technically that intersection is of BRIDGE SQUARE and WATER ST S. It would seem that, particularly since North Water and South Water are so disconnected, it wouldn’t have hurt to use the full street name on the sign.

    July 14, 2009
  2. Griff Wigley said:

    Good point, Sean.

    I used to live on Plum St. South, part of which was on the north/west side of town.

    July 14, 2009
  3. Matthew Hagen said:

    Sean: I think the Highway 246 thing is simply because the state highways trump everything else. This also occurs with Highway 3 with is also County Road 47, Chippendale Ave, North Water St, and even Highway 19 for a short stretch. Northfield Amcon is a prime example. They are located on the corner of Highway 3 and St. Olaf Avenue however their address Water Street North. That one does not seem to make much sense either.

    July 16, 2009
  4. Matthew,
    I think Highway 3 is unique because it’s follows a route that did not exist prior to that state highway being created. I suspect it’s Water Street for a few blocks in the north downtown area because that is historically about where Water Street would have run before the highway was built. I think it would be great if the City assigned a city street name to Highway 3 (I’ll let Ross jump in here with Dahomey Avenue), but it does seem more reasonable that a road created to be Highway 3 would bear that city name as well.

    Division South seems different, though. It’s a road that well precedes the state highway, as part of the continuous north/south line dividing Northfield and Bridgewater townships. And after all, it is just as much Highway 246 at the intersections with Sumner, Marvin, and Fremont, and yet it’s labelled Division St there. I’m fairly sure the City can put whatever they darn well please on their city street signs.

    July 16, 2009
  5. Matthew Hagen said:

    I am in total agreement with you. All I am saying is that it would be nice if the city would adopt a standard way of handling such instances of over lapping roads if only to make things more concise as a whole. After looking at maps of Northfield according to Google Maps, not the most accredited source but the best I have access to currently, 246 runs all the way up to the 19, Division St, 2nd Street intersection. Really when dealing with interesting mess that is state highways in Northfield I am not sure if there is a standard procedure. If there is it would be interesting to here it.
    Also I do apologize for forgetting Dahomey Ave. in my list of Highway 3 names that appear on directions to confuse and befuddle the general population.

    July 16, 2009
  6. Well the North/South markers on the street signs do not seem to have completely disappeared. I was on the new portion of Woodley last night and noticed that all the new signs say WOODLEY ST E. Even Spring Creek Road, which historically has not had north/south designations, is marked SPRING CREEK RD S. It would seem the pattern is that maybe they mark it as long as there is an opposite direction on the grid? That is, there is no Washington Street North, so they don’t bother to mark Washington Street South. (Division and Water streets are exceptions.)

    On the Division Street South matter, Brian Erickson told me that there was no particular reason for the “State Hwy 246” label, but that they would consider marking it Division St when the signs were next replaced.

    July 28, 2009

Leave a Reply