Burleson city officials are looking into a name change for a portion of Interstate 35-W.
Officials have noticed a problem with addressing and inconsistencies on I-35W, Director of Engineering Services Laura Melton said. The frontage road area north of Renfro Street’s intersection with the interstate within Burleson city limits is named North Burleson Boulevard. The area south of Renfro Street within the city limits is called South Burleson Boulevard. The streets were changed from I-35 Frontage Road to Burleson Boulevard in 2000.
“There are problems caused by inconsistent addressing — for the public, it’s difficult to locate businesses,” Melton said. “More significantly there are 911 dispatch and emergency response issues. When people call in, they don’t properly identify the address.”
Callers sometimes state their location as simply I-35W instead of Burleson Boulevard. Local dispatch can recognize the address and route the call correctly, but other times calls will go to a non-Burleson 911 service, where dispatch isn’t as familiar with the area. Burleson Boulevard is the legal name when callers incorrectly identify the property. The legal name in the dispatch database is Burleson Boulevard, which can create some confusion when Burleson Boulevard isn’t mentioned.
“These folks are less familiar with the Burleson Boulevard and I-35W Frontage Road connection, and that can create some delay in response,” Melton said.
When Burleson annexed a portion of the I-35W corridor to the south, the portion was never renamed and is still listed as north or south I-35W. Businesses that are legally addressed as Burleson Boulevard choose to publish their address as I-35W Frontage Road instead, which creates confusion, according to a memorandum from the city.
Melton told city council members on Dec. 3 that the addressing issue will be tackled next year, starting with public input. The process is expected to start in January.
The staff will gather public input for the appropriate name of the frontage road, according to the memorandum. The only area under consideration for a name change for the time being is the section of I-35W south of Renfro Street. The area north of Renfro Street is less developed, where as south of Renfro Street has more than 180 businesses or property owners.
“The more established and more difficult issues are north of Renfro. We can get our feet wet with this one,” Melton said.
The first step is to receive public input from the community and property owners who will be affected by the change from both north and south of Renfro Street. City officials will also seek input from internal or other agencies like dispatch services, the police and fire departments, the U.S. Postal Service and the Johnson County Appraisal District.
The USPS has certain rules like not being able to abbreviate “frontage” or “interstate,” Melton said.
The 2013 process will begin with public meetings, and if the city decides to bring a name change forward, there will be a public hearing and two readings of the ordinance before a final vote is taken.
“There will be plenty of input from the public on the changes,” Melton said.