Which Washington is Which?

Dear Globe,

1205940115Hello there, friends. We know we’ve been on your case a lot this week, and for that we apologize. But when you keep talking about passing the popcorn and whether Obama supporters get their morning coffee at Dunkin Donuts or Starbucks, it’s hard to leave you alone. In today’s edition, you may have surpassed even those levels of inanity by writing about how many of the city’s roads have the same name.

Next week, we expect to hear the stunning revelation that our streets are narrow and hard to navigate.

This investigation started after Boston Police admitted they’d sent officers to the wrong 689 Washington Street a couple of weeks ago. You reported that it was unclear if the caller specified she lived in Dorchester, not Downtown Crossing. The name of the roads is not the public safety issue—it’s how the 911 dispatcher handled the call that’s a problem.

Mastering the complicated patchwork of our Washington Streets and Beacon Streets is part of what makes us Bostonians. Nobody says they live on Washington Street in Boston unless they live downtown. If they live on the Washington Street that runs through Brighton, a person should say they live in Brighton.

You even admit it.

Plug 689 Washington St., Boston, into MapQuest, and the downtown address will pop up, not the ones in Dorchester or Brighton. To get directions to either of those destinations, a person must enter Dorchester or Brighton in the box reserved for a city’s name.

It’s not that difficult. Not only do we have Google Maps and GPS systems, but we also have cell phones. Advise your readers to call and check which Washington Street they need before getting in the car and move on with their lives.

Boston Daily