Opposes street renaming

Dear Editor:I have just become alerted in the media to the proposal to rename a portion of Clark Ave to Columbia Way. Having worked for the NAA-to-Rockwell corporation for 40 years, I was indeed saddened by the catastrophe of the Shuttle Columbia STS-107 disaster nearly seven years ago and do wholeheartedly applaud the creation of the facility established in its honor - together with the naming of all facilities there to match. However, I must take exception to the proposed renaming of the street. The purpose of street names is not to glorify or honor any person, thing, or event. Rather the purpose is to enable potential visitors to find the places on that street from references to addresses, maps, and experience. Renaming the street, whether just to Imperial or all the way to the city boundary will not help people to find the location at 12400 Columbia Way - even after maps are changed and replaced over the next decade. Granted that Clark Avenue at one time was named Cerritos Avenue, but for at least the last 70 years it has been Clark Avenue, and there are millions of people in the Downey-to-Long-Beach and surrounding Greater Los Angeles area who know in their minds the location of Clark Avenue. For all of those people who travel and cross Clark Avenue every day, finding the Columbia Memorial Space Center on Clark Avenue will be a trivial task. For anyone to try to find a place on a small portion of that street which has been renamed for the purpose of honor, will lessen their chance of finding it. Additionally, the residences and businesses which must change their addresses, business cards, letter heads, Internet Web pages, and professional listings, will suffer an inconvenience and expense which far exceeds any gain from the renaming. Much greater attention would be afforded to the space center complex if the intersection at Lakewood were restored to its prior age-old configuration in order for those coming from the north to actually enter the street, and then perhaps that intersection's being named "The Columbia", or "Columbia Triangle", or "Columbia Square", as being akin to Long-Beach's "The Circle" and the many freeway sections and interchanges named in honor of State employees - none of which have any implications regarding the need to find them via an address/map reference; the same is true of the many named "Square's in eastern cities. Changing the name of the street while leaving the current access so convoluted, will essentially cause the Lakewood intersection to become nicked-name as "Columbia Maze", "Columbia Where-How", "Columbia de Sac", or "Columbia Can't". The honor of the change will long be over-shadowed by the inconvenience to others, its making the honoree location harder to find, and the continued blockage of ingress from the major access route. The Astronauts lost in 2003, would collectively object to the pseudo honor. For the sake of future attendance and community harmony, the proposal should be withdrawn or voted down. Enough with the hoopla. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Keep it simple. - Hugh T. Hoskins, Downey

********** Published: October 16, 2009 - Volume 8 - Issue 26