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Rural Addressing Methods. Rural Addressing Methods. There are two primary means of means of assigning locatable addresses: Distance Based Addressing : according to the number of incremental units from the beginning of a road. Grid Based Addressing : according to a pre-defined grid.

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Rural Addressing Methods

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rural addressing methods2
Rural Addressing Methods

There are two primary means of means of assigning locatable addresses:

  • Distance Based Addressing: according to the number of incremental units from the beginning of a road.
  • Grid Based Addressing: according to a pre-defined grid.
rural addressing distance based method
Rural Addressing Distance-based Method
  • Distance-based addressing establishes house-numbering according to the number of increments from the beginning of a road. An increment can be any number of feet or division of miles.
rural addressing distance based method cont
Rural Addressing Distance-based Method (cont.)
  • An increment can be any number of feet or division of miles.
  • Typical increments are 5-feet, 5.28-feet (.001 miles), 10-feet, 25-feet, 26.4-feet (.005 miles), 50-feet, 52.8-feet (.01 miles) and 100-feet.
rural addressing distance based method cont5
Rural Addressing Distance-based Method (cont.)
  • That is, by proceeding up a road, a new address is available at each multiple of this increment.
  • In addition, the parity (odd/even) of the address is established according to the side of road.
  • The side-of-road is relative to a vehicle proceeding along the road in the direction of ascending numbers (from the beginning of the named road odd numbers on the left and even numbers on the right.
  • Note: there are no USPS, NENA or other known national standards for establishing parity.
rural addressing grid based method
Rural Addressing Grid-based Method
  • Grid addressing establishes a northing and easting coordinate system for your municipality. Addresses are then developed from the east-west coordinate (x) plus the north-south coordinate (y).
  • Numbers tend to be very large as each coordinate value is generally 3-digits. If the municipality covers a large area, other numbers may need to be added to indicate the sector of the grid. In addition, any road that curves back in an east-west direction can have addressing that is out of order (goes up and down). This system may be suitable in flat areas where almost no curved roads exist and the residents don't mind large numbers.
rural addressing methods7
Rural Addressing Methods
  • Official street numbers should proceed from a logical point of origin and should be in proper numerical sequence in relation to other lots with frontage on the same street/road. It is recommended that a county adopt a standard numbering sequence that goes from East to West and South to North.
  • Odd numbers are commonly assigned to the left side of the street and even numbers to the right side of the street.
rural addressing methods8
Rural Addressing Methods
  • Address numbers should be assigned to all structures which are inhabited or which have or may have phone service (including telephone booths) and not to lots and parcels. Many lots have more than one structure and thus require more than one address.
  • Corner lots should be assigned a number according to the frontage of the main entrance and/or where the driveway meets the road - not where the mailbox is located.
rural addressing methods9
Rural Addressing Methods
  • The logical/grammatical order of address elements should follow USPS conventions: street number, pre-directional, primary street name, suffix, post-directional, and secondary number, if any (e.g., 100 W Main ST SE Apt 201)
  • Multi-unit structures should be given one primary number (e.g., 101 Main ST or 103 Main ST) and apartments or suites should be given numbers or letters as secondary location indicators (e.g., 111 Main ST, APT 101)
rural addressing methods10
Rural Addressing Methods
  • Primary street numbers should not be longer than six characters
  • There should be no fractional addresses (e.g., 101 1/2 Main ST)
  • Alphanumeric primary or secondary address numbers should not be used (e.g., EOI Main ST)
  • Hyphenated primary or secondary address numbers should not be used (e.g. 41-65 Bell ST)
rural addressing methods11
Rural Addressing Methods
  • Significant leading zeros in primary and secondary numbers should not be used (e.g., 0145 Main ST)
  • One letter road names should not be used (e.g., B Street or Z Lane)
  • Common practice is to number from east to west, and from south to north
  • Where one road starts and ends at points on a second road (creating a loop), the numbering along the two roads should be in the same direction
adopting and standardizing a system for addressing
Adopting and Standardizing a System for Addressing
  • Municipalities planning an enhanced 9-1-1 project should establish a single locatable addressing system that is adopted for all addressing purposes including emergency service provision, postal delivery, municipal record keeping, and utility service orders.
address increments
Address Increments
  • NENA Standards recommend that communities adopt a 5.28' increment. This increment would allow for 1,000 unique numbered addresses per 1 mile length of road (there are 5,280 feet in a mile). This increment makes it very easy for an emergency service provider in the event of an emergency to look at the address and quickly figure out how far down the road the house is located.
  • For example, if an ambulance were dispatched to 500 Alpine Lane (using a 5.28' address increment) the emergency vehicle would know to travel exactly one half mile down Alpine Lane to locate number 500.
address increments cont
Address Increments (cont.)
  • Another benefit of the 5.28' increment is that structures can be assigned an address every 10.5' on each side of the driveway.
  • This means that many addressees are developed, mainly for navigational purposes, but also for future development needs of a community.
  • If the appropriate measured numbering system is selected, a community will never need to be re-addressed to accommodate future development.

Local standards are a customization of the nationally recommended methodsAddressing Standards that should be considered on the local level

  • Establish a 9-1-1 Committee to implement County-wide Standards.
  • Establish Road Naming and Re-naming Standards.
  • Establish a Road Measuring and Numbering System that Fits your county.
  • Establish Addressing Standards that would require residents to receive a new E-911 Address..
  • Establish Road Signs and Address Number Standards.
  • Consider Hiring a GIS/E911 Consultant.
road sign address numbering
Road Sign & AddressNumbering
  • Naming roads and mapping them is among the first steps in an addressing process.
  • Placing road signs is one of the final tasks. To assist both emergency service personnel and the general public, signs must be visible and maintained.
  • A frequent compliant about road signs is that they are often hidden by tree branches. Annual trimming can eliminate this problem.
road signs
Road Signs
  • There are several varieties of signs that are suitable for public road use. The most common is the green background with reflective white lettering. However, regardless of color, the important issue is to ensure the letters are tall enough to be easily seen day or night.
  • Sizes: Lettering on street name signs should be at least 4 inches high, supplementary letting to indicate the type of street (e.g., Street, Avenue, Road, etc.) or section of city (e.g., N.W.) may be in smaller lettering, at least 2 inches high.
  • For rural areas: Municipalities should use 9 inch high blade in lengths of 24, 30, 36, or 42 inches with 6 inch high letter for street names, 4 inches for other.
road signs cont
Road Signs (cont.)
  • For urban areas: Municipalities should use 9 inch high blade in lengths of 24, 30, 36, or 42 inches with 4 inch high letter for street names, inches for other.
  • Placement: In business districts and on principal arteries, Street Name signs should be placed at least on diagonally opposite corners so that they will be on the far right hand side of the intersection for traffic on the major street. They should be mounted with their faces parallel to the streets they name. In residential districts at least one Street Name sign should be mounted at each intersection. In rural districts signs should be placed to identify important roads not otherwise marked.
basic rural addressing tasks
Basic Rural Addressing Tasks
  • Determine the type of address numbering system(s) to be used.
  • Establish base maps for the entire area by using existing data or developing you own centerline file.
  • Determine ESN boundaries, telephone exchange boundaries, city limits, and zip code boundaries.
  • Research new developments, streets and sub-divisions for centerline updates.
basic rural addressing tasks cont
Basic Rural Addressing Tasks (cont.)
  • Determine property number ranges.
  • Establish address standards and draft addressing ordinances
  • Build Master Street Address Guide (MSAG) and supply to USPS, telephone companies and others.
  • Determine a time-line for establishment and adaptation of new address for rural structures.
basic rural addressing tasks cont21
Basic Rural Addressing Tasks (cont.)
  • Obtain citizens address and location records from all possible sources.
  • Locate every addressable structure from field verification or aerial photography.
  • Assign a property number to each structure or driveway location on map.
basic rural addressing tasks cont22
Basic Rural Addressing Tasks (cont.)
  • Use citizen/location records and/or fieldwork to verify name, telephone number and existing (old) address for each structure.
  • Match new property addresses with old address data to create an Address Change File.
  • Inform the USPS, telephone company, citizens and others of the change of address and the date in which the change will become official for mailing purposes.
basic rural addressing tasks cont23
Basic Rural Addressing Tasks (cont.)
  • Work with telephone companies and the USPS on follow-up and error correction.
  • Develop methods for address assignment by cities and counties.
  • Deliver indexed maps and atlases to cities and county.
  • Establish a rigorous Data Maintenance schedule and keep up with it by hiring qualified personnel.
methods for locating address changes
Methods for locating Address Changes
  • Address Listings/Files- maintained by your government (including those used for mass mailings or needed to provide essential services, such as police, fire or sanitation programs) or purchased from commercial vendors are an acceptable source for creating housing unit tallies for each census block, provided they are current and comprehensive. You also can update comprehensive address listings/files with additions and deletions from other local records.
  • Tax Assessment Records- may supply up-to-date tallies of housing units.
  • Utility Connection Records- (electric, gas, water or sewer) are other sources for developing housing unit tallies.
other methods for change detection
Other Methods for “Change Detection”


  • Property Permit Records
  • Certificates of Occupancy and Demolition Permits
  • Neighborhood visits
  • Special censuses
  • Aerial photography (DOQQ’s) and Current land use maps
  • Housing authorities records
  • Tribal, village, or Indian Health Service
  • Environmental Health Office records
when should addresses be updated or checked
When should Addresses be Updated or Checked?

Local governments are in the best position to identify areas with potentially missing or incorrectly assigned addresses.

For example:

  • Has there been recent new construction activity in your community?
  • Are there areas that have changed from single-family homes to multi-family homes and vice versa?
  • What about commercial or former public buildings that have been converted to residential use?
  • Are there new mobile home parks or even scattered new mobile homes?
  • Do you have apartment buildings or boarding houses with irregular or missing numbering schemes for the individual units?
  • Are there blocks where you believe the Census Bureau missed housing units in 1990?
  • Has your community recently annexed new territory, and thus new addresses?
urban addressing issues28
Urban Addressing Issues
  • Most Common Address Systems in Urban Areas:
    • Base Line Method: References for an Addressing Grid use paired perpendicular lines oriented North/South and East/West.
    • Quadrants: Four Zones of a city, quartered “roughly” by a pair of perpendicular lines.
    • Addressing Grid: Ranges for addresses are forced onto the existing perpendicular street network
urban addressing issues cont
Urban Addressing Issues (cont.)
  • Mostly dealing with new Street Naming and Standardization.
  • Continue to edit and update Address Standards.
  • Vacant Parcels will require an Address, unlike the suggested Rural methods.
common urban address range methods
Common Urban Address Range Methods
  • Interval - Much like the distance method used in the rural areas, where every so many feet there’s a new number.
  • Potential Range - Address numbers eligible for assessment along a block (typically 100)
  • Actual Range - Address numbers actually assigned along a block (430-488) not (400-498).
urban address issues cont
Urban Address Issues (cont.)
  • Adjacent Municipal Jurisdictional conflicts.
    • County verses the City? Who wins?
  • Annexations and the expansion of existing addressing grids.
  • Development of an effective code for Street Naming/Addressing conventions and methods.
    • Especially for contemporary sub-divisions
urban addressing issues cont32
Urban Addressing Issues (cont.)
  • Expansion of addressing into Rural Areas with an existing 911 addressing scheme.
  • Dealing with “prestige” or “vanity” addresses.
  • Issuing change of address notices.
  • Keeping current updates among various agencies.
  • Cooperation is the key to success….