Street Name Confusion

- A report on a botched ambulance call sheds light on a confusing problem in Rockford--different streets with the same names.

The report reveals precious minutes were wasted as a gunshot victim lay dying, because of street name confusion.

As we first reported yesterday, the ambulance was dispatched to the 500-block of Pearl Street, but went to the 500 block of Pearl Avenue instead. That location is five miles off course.

As a result, 21-year-old Andrew Barth died from a chest wound.

"Within my ward I have a particular street called Forest View Avenue and Forest View Road, said Alderman of the 14th ward, Joseph Chiarelli.

So if so many people -- even ambulance drivers -- are confused, why haven't street names been changed?

Chiarelli said, “I know from past history that the city wanted to address these similar names and same name roads and there was a big push back from the residents for not changing the names of the roads."

The city has implemented a strict policy for naming new roads to prevent confusion.

“I can tell you today it's a very strict policy through the subdivision review, that many department heads look at the names of the streets when they're brought forward,” said Chiarelli.

But as for changing existing street names -- that's a dead end.

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