Yesterday, I discussed the extension of DC’s alphanumeric street naming system into Maryland. But there are other naming systems which are perhaps less logical but quirky enough to deserve mention.

Bowie, Maryland has a quasi-systematic set of named streets. Most of the suburban style housing built in the post war era falls in to sections where each street starts with the same letter. I’ve been told that many Bowie residents refer to their neighborhood simply using the letter, as in “E-section.”



Another place worth mentioning is Bethesda. Several of the streets in and around the central business district are named after places in Northern Virginia. Arlington Road, Clarendon Road, Del Ray Avenue, Fairfax Road, Norfolk Avenue, St. Elmo Avenue, and Woodmont Avenue all reference places on the other side of the Potomac.

The region has not one, but (at least) two neighborhoods with streets named after places or characters from Star Trek. One is near Gaithersburg, the other in Largo.

As I pointed out yesterday, College Park uses university names as a part of its alphabetical street naming system. But two other Maryland neighborhoods also use colleges to name streets. One instance is in College Gardens, near Montgomery College. The other is Glen Echo.


Image from Google Maps. Click for interactive version.


Takoma Park has two different street naming patterns. In the central part of Takoma Park, streets tend to be named after flowers and trees. Closer to Silver Spring, streets are named after American cities.

There are probably other places in the region with interesting naming systems. Do any of you know where else we can find them?

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Matt Johnson has lived in the Washington area since 2007. He has a Master’s in Planning from the University of Maryland and a BS in Public Policy from Georgia Tech. He lives in Greenbelt. He’s a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners. He is a contract employee of the Montgomery County Department of Transportation. His views are his own and do not represent those of his employer.