Two months after the Lovettsville Town Council renamed a portion of South Church Street to Kirche Street, confusion is abounding.
The council in January voted to change the name of a 600-foot portion of South Church Street to improve emergency response and parcel delivery to seven addresses. Since the rename was made on May 17, however, Google Maps has yet to update the street name, causing confusion when residents order packages to their homes.
According to an email from one Kirche Street resident to Town Engineer Karin Fellers, when she orders something to be sent to her home, she has to use two addresses—her South Church Street address when entering her information and her Kirche Street address when directing the delivery driver to her home. “Maybe I should send out smoke signals when I should be receiving a package and delivery,” she wrote.
To help direct delivery drivers, the town has placed signs in front of the affected homes that read “formerly [address] S. Church Street.”
Recently, Google invited the town to upload the updated information, but noted that it could not guarantee the street name would be changed “due to the complexities of conflating data on the map.”
Google Maps is constantly changing the street’s name. Last week, it recognized only Kirche Street addresses, even along portions of the South Church Street that were not renamed. Then, neither Kirche Street nor South Church Street addresses existed. Now, it recognizes only South Church Street addresses.
On Street View, Kirche Street is found only along the 175-foot-long section of road between Broad Way and Pennsylvania Avenue—a portion of road that was not renamed.
Google Maps aside, Fellers has received confirmation from all other organizations, like MapQuest, the Post Office, Verizon and the county’s voter registration and tax offices and its emergency response system. “[The rename] alleviated mapping discrepancies regarding calls for service to those residences,” said Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer Kraig Troxell.
The decision to rename a portion of the street came in 2015, when emergency crews responded to Andy’s Pizza & Subs instead of a residential home when South Church Street fire was reported. When the town added letters to four addresses along the road—2A-D South Church Street—mapping systems just ignored the letters.
The town also gave Andy’s the new address of 2 Town Square instead of 2 S. Church St., but Google Maps does not recognize that address.
Fellers said she would continue working with Google and would also create a procedures guide for the town if it decides to rename more streets in the future. “I have to spend some time on it,” she said.