CARMEL — If Carmel’s many roundabouts didn’t give you enough confusion, what about their similar street names like the intersection of 1st Avenue Northwest and 1st Street Northwest? The City of Carmel heard their residents and is now beginning a round of street name changes.

“Carmel’s original street layout used directions behind the numbers. So you would have, First Street Southwest, First Street Southeast, with Rangeline as the dividing line,” said Dan Mcfeely, Spokesman for the City of Carmel. “When we were a smaller town, it worked okay, but now, with more people, it’s a little confusing.”

Carmel is using the development of its Arts and Design District in the midtown area to change a handful of street names. These changes will be implemented beginning February 1. Letters were sent last year to residents and businesses who would be affected by the changes.

“We worked with the Carmel Historical Society to find some historical figures to name our streets after,” said McFeely. “For example, we have a track star from the late 1940’s, who was known as the ‘Carmel Comet’, Bill Stubbs. Was a great athlete, also, happened to be one of our first African-American athletes. He ran so fast that people from all over the place would come watch him run. So, one of our new street names is called ‘Stubbs Way’.”

“It’s that kind of sentiment and respect for history that we’re trying to accomplish here, as well as eliminating confusion.”

Over time, the City of Carmel received lots of comments and complaints from its residents about how confusing some of the street names were. Especially after the pandemic, with a lot of people ordering food and packages right to their door, residents’ food and packages would end up on the wrong doorstep. Not to mention, the confusion the streets give those who are delivering the food and packages.

Zachary Jedamzik, Carmel resident and rental property owner, said that he and his renters can attest to the confusion that the street names have created. “We’ve both dealt with the named and numbered streets based on a compass. I can speak to a few instances where my renter did not receive a wedding invitation so she almost missed a wedding,” he said.

Jedamzik added that he is happy with the way the city has communicated these changes. “I think they’ve done a great job at explaining how, why, they made the decision, and what problems it’s going to solve,” Jedamzik said.

McFeely said there is another round of name changes coming soon. “Piece by piece. When it all comes together I think it’s going to be better for Carmel and better for visitors.”