Last week, it was reported at a meeting of the Kidder Township supervisors that the process of issuing standardized street addresses is nearly completed. It's a project that has taken a long time – probably too long in the eyes of firefighters, police officers, and other emergency responders.

There shouldn't be any municipality anymore without standardized street addresses. Franklin Township and Mahoning Township successfully addressed this issue quite a few years ago.

In fact, not only should standardized addresses be required, but municipal regulations should be adopted in which any developments – existing or new – would have to register all street names as well as present a street layout map to the borough or township.

The same rules should forbid any duplicate street names. For example, if Smith Drive already exists, no new development in the respective municipality would be permitted to have a Smith Drive. If two streets of the same name already exist, the one with the fewest houses should have to change its name.

Minutes can mean the difference between life and death for an ambulance patient. Mere minutes can determine if a house is saved or burns to the ground. Those minutes can be spared with proper addresses being recorded within the municipality and placed on maps for emergency responders and dispatchers.

Even going a step farther, it should be a state law that all streets are properly named and all residents have identifiable addresses. We realize some individuals in some locations live a distance from a township or state road, but in those cases the closest point to the road would have to be a valid address.

In the old days, everybody knew not only their neighbor, but everybody in the town or township. That isn't the case anymore. Especially in Kidder Township where so many new developments have been built and the population has grown so drastically is it important to have addresses which emergency responders can identify.

That's why no municipality can afford not to have them standardized ASAP.

Kidder is commended for taking its initiative. Other municipalities must do the same.

By Ron Gower

rgower@tnonline.com