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Naming Policies for Public Facilities and Streets

This page provides a basic overview of naming policies for local streets and facilities in Washington State, including relevant regulations and examples of local policies and ordinances.



Overview

Having a street naming policy based on a set of criteria can prevent conflict within a community. Some street naming policies also include addressing systems and requirements to display addresses. It can provide a historical context for future generations in your community, especially if the name was intended as a tribute to someone from the community's past. Some jurisdictions provide honorary street names but retain the official street name.


Examples of Naming Policies for Public Facilities

  • Sumner Resolution No. 1035 (2001) – Sets procedures for naming parks and other facilities
  • Tacoma Resolution No. 38091 (2010) – Adopts revised official Policy on Place Names and Name Changes. Includes section on street naming alternatives for the commemoration of individuals or organizations
  • Tukwila Resolution No. 2052 (2022) – Adopts a policy for naming or renaming city-owned property including parks, facilities, buildings, and streets, including honorary street designations
  • Yelm Ordinance No. 786 (2003) – Implements a Community Memorial Recognition Program for public parks, public facilities, and streets

Examples of Naming Policies for Park & Recreation Facilities


Naming and Numbering Street Regulations

  • International Fire Code (2009) - Below are excerpts from Section 505, Premises Identification:
    • Sec. 505.1 Address Identification. New and existing buildings shall have approved address numbers, building numbers or approved building identification placed in a position that is plainly legible and visible from the street or road fronting the property. These numbers shall contrast with their background. Address numbers shall be Arabic numerals or alphabet letters. Numbers shall be a minimum of 4 inches (101.6 mm) high with a minimum stroke width of 0.5 inch (12.7 mm). Where access is by means of a private road and the building cannot be viewed from the public way, a monument, pole or other sign or means shall be used to identify the structure.
    • Sec. 505.2 Street or road signs. Streets and roads shall be identified with approved signs. Temporary signs shall be installed at each street intersection when construction of new roadways allows passage by vehicles. Signs shall be of an approved size, weather resistant and be maintained until replaced by permanent signs.
  • Washington State Department of Transportation: Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices – Contains regulations for the placement of street name signs and memorials, including links to MUTCD and WAC amendments

Examples of Naming and Numbering Policies for Streets

Codes and Policies

Informational Handouts and Forms


Honorary Street Names

Honorary street names allow citizens the opportunity to honor people who have made significant contributions to the community. MRSC has many examples of street naming policies, but none contain policies for honorary street naming. Below are a few policy examples found outside Washington.

Examples


Last Modified: October 04, 2022