Questioning Randolph’s 911 addressing methods


My wife and I made our home in Monterville our permanent residence 3 1/2 years ago. For the past several years, there has been an ongoing tug-of-war between the City of Elkins and the Randolph County Commission concerning street and road names, as well as numbering.

I just finished a short article in the January/February issue of The Atlantic magazine titled, “Where the Streets Have No Name.” The subtitle: “West Virginia Aims To Put Its Residents On The Map.” This takes place in very remote McDowell County along the southern border of West Virginia with Virginia.

The gist of the article is that they kept the names of roads and streets that were used by the locals for many years as long as there was no conflict within the same zip code. And wonder of wonders, they even allowed three-digit house numbers. Mr. Alan “Cathead” Johnson was the subject of the article, and he ended with an address of 155 Stacy Hollow Road.

My wife and I lived in Huntington for 40 years prior to moving to Randolph County. We lived at 16 Oakwood Road within the 25701 zip code inside the city limits of Huntington. Even 10 years ago, when Cabell County finished its 911 addressing, the house number and name stayed the same. This just goes to show that even a two-digit house number can be used in 911 Addressing.

Why is the County Commission of Randolph County trying to impose this “one-size-fits-all” addressing system on the municipalities? I’m sure there are computer programs that allow maintaining the numbering system in Elkins and the other towns.

Please, let’s get this done so we can satisfy the Department of Motor Vehicles and our insurance carriers that we actually live at a numbered residence.

Edgar Shaffer