The Water Cooler – Naming Streets After Celebrities And Politicians

June 19, 2018 12:00 pm · 38 comments

The “Water Cooler” is a feature on where we ask you a question or provide a topic, and you talk about it! The “Water Cooler” will be up Monday-Friday at noon.

Today’s question:

Recently, San Francisco named a street after singer Tony Bennett. Other streets, highways and bridges in the Bay Area have also been named after celebrities and politicians. Do you think this is a waste of time and tax dollars, or do you think it’s a good thing to do?

Talk about it….

Simonpure June 19, 2018 at 12:05 PM

Named = No problem. Renamed = Waste of money

AnonZ June 19, 2018 at 12:43 PM


Mimi (original) June 19, 2018 at 3:56 PM


Bob June 19, 2018 at 9:14 PM

Perfect answer

MrS June 19, 2018 at 12:19 PM

The cost to maintain these signs for Highways, bridges & tunnels is not cheap. Why name them after politicians who were and will continue to be on the taxpayers payroll. Remove all their signs!

Cellophane June 19, 2018 at 12:29 PM

Interesting question

Who does a name change benefit?
No one.

Who pays for the name change?

Naming a street is a nice gesture but that’s all it amounts to, a gesture.

A gesture should not cost taxpayers money.

Kentucky Derby June 19, 2018 at 12:30 PM

It doesn’t make any difference to me one way or the other. As long as I can get there and back, and have a good time wherever I’m going. This falls under “don’t sweat the small stuff.”

Pyrrhus June 19, 2018 at 1:19 PM

Exactly, the only people getting upset over this are people with too much time on their hands or have too much hatred in their heart.

Just mention Cesar Chavez Street and you’ll never hear the end of it from some people that seem to have a screw loose.

Lena June 19, 2018 at 2:45 PM

I’m one of those people with a screw loose. How many streets are named after Cochise, Geronimo, Red Cloud, Sitting Bull, Crazy Horse, Chief Joseph, and others? The country continues to practice the principles of Manifest Destiny which preceded slavery and makes no efforts to right the wrongs committed against Native Americans. People of conscience should be offended that interlopers have been honored with street names to the neglect of the true, original, and brave Native Americans to which this country belongs.

PO'd June 19, 2018 at 12:49 PM

Any truth to the rumor that University Ave in Berkeley will be re-named as Karl Marx Way? Makes sense as it leads right to University of California.

Chicken Little June 19, 2018 at 12:56 PM

I would support naming a sewage pumping plant after Gavin Newsom. But streets shouldn’t be named after anybody.

Roz June 19, 2018 at 4:04 PM

HA!,..I got a good chuckle from your post. 🙂

94519 June 19, 2018 at 1:05 PM

It will always be Army Street to me…….

RunnerDope June 19, 2018 at 1:31 PM

And Grove Way in Berkeley.

Gititogether June 19, 2018 at 8:53 PM

…and Sears Point

Silva June 19, 2018 at 1:11 PM

I usually find it to be an ongoing annoyance. The one I still chuckle about; Berkeley changed “Grove Street” to “Martin Luther King Jr. Way”, then a few years later they put signs above the newish name that read “Old Grove Street”, because, well, it was “Grove Street” for a couple centuries at least.

Kirkwood June 19, 2018 at 1:39 PM

I’ve always objected to highways and bridges being named after law enforcement people or Caltrans workers. Most were not heroes, simply ordinary people doing their jobs and happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. The sign is put up and everybody wonders “who is that?”
At least everybody in the country knows who Tony Bennett is.

old-school guy June 19, 2018 at 3:44 PM

Kirkwood, LEO are above ordinary. What do you wear to work? I doubt it includes a bullet proof vest. When a dangerous situation arises, which way do you run? I appreciate dedicating sections of our highways to fallen LEO.

Steve Keller June 19, 2018 at 2:00 PM

Diamond Blvd. is now Neil Diamond Blvd.

Willow Pass Rd. is now The Dan Gurney Motorplex.

Todos Santos is now The Trump Metro Plaza.

Old Otis June 19, 2018 at 2:16 PM

Every street should be called “Obama”!
That should do it.

Randy June 19, 2018 at 2:33 PM

And WTH with MacArthur and the Warren freeway

RunnerDope June 19, 2018 at 3:07 PM

And the Nimitz.

Lena June 19, 2018 at 10:57 PM

The General Douglas MacArthur Freeway
The Admiral Chester Nimitz Freeway
The Earl Warren Freeway

Those were the days!

RANDOM TASK June 19, 2018 at 2:38 PM

OLD OTIS your absolutely right

who wouldn’t want to put their oil and rubber all over that slime ball

I mean he screwed Hillary by having comey nix here chance lol …just great

he set up division amongst people by establishing letters to represent them instead of letting them be who they want to be

he established a policy to take from American children to fund illegals be them gangs members or drug dealers they are all here paid for by your children …yay right …ooh sorry left …don’t want to offend der furor

and he pushed Europe into following suit with illegals that resulted in yep you guessed it hundreds of raped children ….got to love him and his cronies ….wow

then he backed the notion in demifornia to allow criminals to steal from you and not be prosecuted …yeah yay right ..err left …

ahhh America thousands fought and died for it and a few corrupt politicians gave it all away ……feels good right …dang it left sorry

Dennis June 19, 2018 at 3:43 PM

Kirker Pass is named for a professional scalper of Apaches and Mexican peasants …

Me June 19, 2018 at 4:59 PM

Waste…kind of like the Emmys and Academy Awards, people patting each other on the back.

CDE Watcher June 19, 2018 at 6:29 PM


Get a street name, no election signs for the following 3 generations.

Local Lady June 19, 2018 at 6:36 PM

Perhaps we should just put greater thought into the new streets that will be built for the Concord Naval Weapons Station development.

Maybe June 19, 2018 at 8:40 PM

What politician in their right mind would want their name attached to any of the pothole infested crumbling roads in ca. Can I send a bill to whoever’s name is on the road to help with my auto repairs? I’ve had 3 windshield replaced in a year due to rocks being kicked up from the crumbling roads.

THE BLACK KNIGHT June 19, 2018 at 9:05 PM

I don’t have a problem if we named the streets after everyone that held an office. As an example Presidents, Vice Presidents, or Governors, etc. I feel that is better than just picking certain office holders, it’s honoring the position they held and not just the individual.

Now, when it comes to living or serving office holders, I don’t think they should have anything named after them, especially just because they were able to secure funding for that particular project. As an example, “The George Miller Center” or “Congressman George Miller Benicia–Martinez Bridge.” If an office holder did such a great job that the public wants to name something after him/her, then we can wait until 25 years after that individuals death to see how deserving the public thinks he/she really is.

When it comes to naming something after a “celebrity,” that should probably happen even less than politicians. It depends on what that celebrity did or was known for in a particular city, neighborhood, street, building, etc.

Other “non-politician” and “non-celebrity,” but “historical figures” should have something named after them if they’re known for doing something in a particular area. As an example, we have “Salvio Street” and “Salvio Pacheco Square” named after one of Concord’s three founders, Don Juan Salvio Pacheco.

Unfortunately, in the current era to many people are “overly offended” by certain persons, something they said, or something they did in their lives, that that person can’t be honored or have something named after them, which is why it is becoming less common for things to be named after people. It has become an especially sad spectacle when historical figures are judged for how they lived, in a way, and at a time that people today don’t understand and can’t comprehend. We have become a society where to many people are applying 21st century “ethics, morals and values” on individuals from our past, that lived to survive, and where society had different “ethics, morals, and values” and how they applied them in their lives. If society continues down the current path of judgment, then future generations will judge the people of today as the people of today judge the people of the past.

Poor Richard June 19, 2018 at 9:58 PM

Do not name anything after living politicians. I am tired of various “George Miller” buildings.
I recall a MD Congressman named the new Federal courthouse after himself, and later was indicted in it. I think of it every time I see the Burton Federal building in SF.

FBR June 19, 2018 at 11:43 PM

I say NO because it always becomes political. Anything that San Francisco does, we should do the exact opposite.

Ancient Mariner June 20, 2018 at 12:50 AM

Not a problem, but it should be only the last name, not the full name.
There’s Grant Street in San Francisco.
If we had to name it today we would call it Ulysses S. Grant Street.
One name only, please.

KinseyLeaky June 20, 2018 at 3:38 AM

Obama Ct is a dead end.
Hillary Ave has potholes all over it.
Maxine Watters Ave needs a fresh coat.
Diane Feinstein Blvd is cracked.

Ironic how demicrat street names are gaining infrastructure.

Fred P. June 20, 2018 at 3:39 PM

Now that’s good!

missimee June 20, 2018 at 10:06 AM

I don’t like renaming streets. For those located on those streets, particularly businesses, it means new letterhead, cards, etc. Notifying all friends, vendors, etc of a new address.

Commuter... June 20, 2018 at 2:26 PM

Celebrities and politicians sure do need a lot of recognition. Time to get over themselves.

escapehatch June 20, 2018 at 6:20 PM

I’ve had trouble with Google maps and Apple maps calling the same freeway different names, especially in the south bay. Just use the numerical designation please.

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