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Monday, April 20, 2009

Atkinson residents say street number confusion can be scary

From the Eagle Tribune;

Atkinson residents say street number confusion can be scary
By Eric Parry

ATKINSON — Whenever Dave Hammond tries to get a FedEx package or a pizza delivered to his Atkinson home, it almost always ends up at his neighbor's door.

That's because Hammond's home, 20A Coventry Road, is the only home on the street with a letter. The home before his is 20 Coventry Road and the home after is 22, he said.

To solve the problem, Hammond has requested a hearing tomorrow night with the Board of Selectmen to renumber the homes on his street.

But the inconvenience of package deliveries isn't the real issue.

"What's going to happen when we have to call an ambulance?" Hammond said. That's already been a problem for other residents, and it can be a scary thing to watch, said Kerry Gulezian of 2 Washington Road.

About six months ago, her 1-year-old son Adam was choking on a piece of cellophane and his face had started to turn blue. She called 911 right away, but when she heard the sirens on her street they turned before they got to her house.

"I could hear the ambulance going up the wrong driveway," Gulezian said.

That was the second time an ambulance incorrectly showed up at her neighbor's house. By the third time, Gulezian said, she told the 911 operator about the numbering issue so that an ambulance would go to the right address.

The problem is that there are two homes, 2A and 2B Washington Road, that were built after the other five homes on the street. Instead of renumbering the street, the town just added letters to the addresses.

But the problem isn't just these two streets.

Fire Chief Mike Murphy said he's aware of the address confusion on these two streets and a "handful" of others in town. He said he's not even sure how many there are.

"You're normally not looking for this oddity when responding in an emergency," Murphy said.

He acknowledged ambulances sometimes have responded to the wrong house and said he supports Hammond's request to change numbering on these two streets.

When the development was built on Coventry Road, Murphy said he pleaded with selectmen to renumber the homes, but he lost that battle.

When someone calls 911, they should be more concerned with explaining the problem and not worrying whether an ambulance will find them, Murphy said.

"It just adds to the anxiety of the situation," he said.

The meeting is at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow at Town Hall.


Anonymous said...

I didn't know the street number for the house I grew up in until I had been out on my own for 10 years. Fire Department didn't need the number when we had the fire in '68.
But that was before the building boom came to town.
This "letter" problem is not unique to Atkinson or even NH.
It is primarily the fault of software engineers who created "street number" fields that do not accept letters in the system.
Whether it is Domino's, FEDEX or the 911 dispatch software.
So 20A shows only as "20"

Anonymous said...

I feel bad for the family who had the choking baby ambulance call go to the wrong place. I'm assuming the child is Ok. That must have been terrifying for the parents to see the ambulance go to the wrong house. I hope they get their addresses fixed. If ever the selectmen should do something for public safety, this is it.

Anonymous said...

For those who dont know, I hear, Frank Polito is sending flyers around the neighborhood pretending to be the committee to keep our house numbers the same, or something like that.

Anonymous said...

I lived at 24E in Mass, no problem when the FD or PD were called. On my street in Atkinson, house # 5 is before #6 and there weren't any letters to confuse whoever assigned them.

To blame the engineers is dumb, it was most likely the customer specs that were not well thought out.

Anonymous said...


house # 6 is before #5

Anonymous said...

I have a better thought on the numbering. When Atkinson was "numbered", it was done using the tax maps. I figure that the lot on which the mis-numbered house was eventually built was vacant, and that those who did the numbering presumed - for some reason or another - that it never would be. Therefore, they omitted a number on that vacant lot. Possibly, it was an undersized lot and they figured it would have pass zoning to allow a house.

Anonymous said...

Best comment here is a Town Official (Polito) is talking the problem down. Figures, huh? Sapia will put his two cents in here shortly, because Polito has taken a position.

Anyone here see what the problem is in Atkinson ( no matter what the issue is), Taxpayers complain, and politicans deny while twisting the taxpayer is the problem.

It doesn't matter if the issue is: Milfoil on the lake, Selectmen violating civil rights, conflict of interest, police generators, lawsuits against the town, street numbering, power outages, road repair, trash pickup, burning at the dump, over assessments of property tax, phil consentino following people around town, blog signs, not being able to pick up ice storm limbs around town, budget limits, and the list goes on, and on, and on, while the Atkinson Mafia continues to blame the taxpayer for being the problem.

The "Clue to the problem" is not the taxpayer. The real clue is: (fill in the black)

Suggest putting REAL PEOPLE in office and get rid of the Sapia's, Consentino's, Polito's, Sullivan's, etc, and get back to the real concerns of the town. Something taxpayers can support.

Anonymous said...

While Sullivan wasn't perfect, he took on Consenti I and Sapia at times.

To lump him in with the others just makes this blog and it's users seem like a bunch of unrealistic cranks. Try being a little more accurate with your rants.

Anonymous said...

Polito has a huge interest in the street numbering issue. He's a next=door neighbor of the Hammonds.

Anonymous said...

The meeting on Tuesday 4/21/09 has adjourned; the result is that the ATK selectman will have another public meeting to discus the issues of renumbering everyone's street number. The public meeting was very amusing; there was the Washington Road family hat appeared to be so accident prone that they were regular subscribers/callers to the 911 system; this fact is coupled with their ineptitude and selfish inability to properly POST their property address in a visible way.
The 20A couple had a singular inadequate story since they too have refused to properly POST their property with their street number. ABOVE all the most compelling stories came from families that had young children that had learned to memorize their address. The real and significant issue is their story. Many young couples were terrified that their young children who had (finally) memorized their address would be confused and forget if in an emergency they had to recall their address or relay their address to a 911 operator; this is a legal issue that has numerous consequences. Hopefully the selectman will ignore the fictitious legal scares and do what the majority clearly want; To keep the street numbers the same and to require the 2 people affected to properly post their home address.

Anonymous said...

For the dummy who thinks that Polito is sending anonymous flyers around town; YOU are wrong you ignorant clown. If you were so brave why do you post anonymous posts here? Don't you think that maybe it's someone who is concerned yet wants to remain anonymous? Be careful with what you post, lightening strikes where you least expect & you may one day be on the receiving end of one of these posts. We know who you are.

Anonymous said...

ooooh ok frank! Still trying to intimidate, if your the one with balls why do you post here anonymously? Or are you the only one it is ok for?

Anonymous said...

I watched that meeting and saw the Atkinson Fire Chief Mike Murphy say this was a problem for emergency responders and he was 100% behind getting addresses changed.

The two 911 representatives from the NH Bureau of Emergency Communications said the addresses should be changed. They also pointed out the town faces substantial liability if they don't fix these problems in town.

I'd prefer we not get sued again so the numbers need to be changed. Get over it. The pathetic whining from the people who don't want their numbers changed was uncomfortable to watch. I'm glad I don't live near that selfish bunch.

Anonymous said...

To, April, 22 09 10:11am
Please look up the definition of words like self-centered, egotistical, arrogant, entitled, etc. Did you not listen to the multiple EXPERTS state repeatedly that this issue MUST be fixed? Are you deaf, dumb, or blind? I do not live on Coventry thank god! I would be embarrASSed to admit it if I did! Its sad that each and every resident that spoke thought only of the big hardship they would endure if they had to change their #. Who cares if the neighbors kid or the neighbor themselves need emergency response {say due to a heart attack}. Thats not my problem... Do you know how hard it is to change an address? How could these people at 20A expect all of us to change our NUMbers? Well guess what? The town has been notified and is now legally on the hook to fix the problem. It wil be fixed so why go embarrASS yourselves with your foolish comments? My teenager {must go to Timberlane} is unable to remember a new street #? Pretty SAD....
It makes one want to move away. However, when the numbers change, hopefully the Whiners move because they are going to have to do an address change anyways. Its sad that no one seems to care about their neighbors or community anymore. Same goes for the bloke on Washington St. Once again our sleepy little town provides great entertainment for the greater community with our latest commedy act. God speed to fix the problem before someone really needs help at any address that needs fixing!

Anonymous said...

You shouldn't pick on that poor child who can't learn new house numbers. She must have a learning disability or something and its not right for you to pick on defenseless kids. I feel fortunate that my kids don't have that kind of learning problem. We've moved 3 times and they were always able to learn their new address immediately. I'm not trying to brag I'm just saying you should leave kids alone who have learning problems.

tim dziechowski said...

To anonymous@5:48 PM

This issue has come up in the past. The FD did the best they could when street numbers were assigned but you can't always forsee all subdivision and land development changes. I will point out that the Town FD is at 1 Academy Ave and the Town Garage is at 1B Academy Ave. Nobody wants to take the political heat for trying to change everybody's address who is further along the street. People can sue over that, and have threatened to in the past. If streets are renumbered everyone on the north side of Academy Ave will get a new address and years of aggravation dealing with it.

Anonymous said...

Its hard to follow your logic given that nobody lives at 1 or 1B Academy Ave. Unless Ted moved into the town garage and we don't know about it. I find it hard to believe the selectmen intend to renumber everything in sight.

Anonymous said...

blah, blah,blah. Come on Tiny Tim
and quit trying to rile up more people. Does Teds grand children live there or something?