Government has, once again, resurrected the National Addressing System (NAS), which was first introduced in the BVI some 23 years ago.
NAS effectively refers to a framework that provides for the naming of streets in the territory.
When the addressing system was mentioned in the House of Assembly on Tuesday, Premier Dr D Orlando Smith said NAS will improve local tourism and financial services because the system will allow residents and visitors to locate businesses around the territory with greater ease.
“Another category of persons who would benefit are emergency workers – for example, the ambulance and postal workers. All these workers need proper addresses to be able to carry out their delivery services and also to respond to emergencies. For those many reasons, it is important that the national addressing system is put in place,” the Premier reasoned.
A pilot programme for the addressing system is now being reinitiated. That pilot will be focused in and around the Road Town area.
While contributing to the debate, Opposition legislator Julian Fraser said the pilot should have been introduced territory-wide.
“I don’t think that what we are doing is the right thing. We should have done the entire territory because we have all the capacity that is necessary to take on the territory and get it done now, which was probably what was intended in the first place (23 years ago).”
He then raised concern about the protracted nature of the project.
“As you can see, this (NAS) was passed in Cabinet in 2016 and it’s only now making its way to the House of Assembly … Is it that the next pilot will be 23 years from now?”
Fraser, who is an architect by profession, also said some of the proposed names for streets in the territory need to be changed.
He further suggested NAS should be made to include lot numbers for respective properties territory-wide.
“I think its high time that we get to the point where each property has its identity and address. And it shouldn’t stop there. It should continue to have your mail delivered to your home… I think it’s a sign of progress,” said Fraser.
His sentiments received support from junior government minister, Archibald Christian.
Christian particularly agreed that some proposed street names needed to be amended.
He said some of the names are too identical and can cause confusion.
Identical names include ‘Dawson Drive’, ‘Dawson Hill Road’, ‘Dawson Road’, and ‘Dawson View Road’, which are all intended to be different locations in the BVI.
“I think we need to go back and see if we could tidy that up a little bit … Let’s say, God forbid, there was an emergency at Dawson Drive but the address that was given was Dawson Avenue. You could understand that in a few minutes or seconds a life could be saved if the person had the correct address,” said Christian, who also questioned the seemingly unsophisticated nature of some of the proposed names.
One such street name is ‘Broke Neck Drive’.
“I’m not sure where Broke Neck Drive came from … I know that we have what some people call very local names that we like to use but Broke Neck Drive is one that I seem to be struggling with,” he said.
Christian then suggested hosting public consultations for the naming of some streets.
He, however, said a deadline must be put on these consultations so the initiative does not become further protracted.
In response, Premier Smith said public consultations were done when the addressing system was first introduced several years ago. But, he agreed fresh consultations should be done.
Below is a list of proposed street names formulated by the Town and Country Planning Department.
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