This piece is adapt­ed from my first col­umn writ­ten for The Winchester Sun, pub­lished on April 25, 2019. I still think about this top­ic a lot. 


I’d like to tack­le what may at first blush seem a triv­ial issue but it is one I believe can impact our com­mu­ni­ty, for bet­ter or worse.

Street sign: Bypass Rd.

It’s the name that was cho­sen for our bypass, the orig­i­nal bypass on the west side of town. Of course, it is known sim­ply as Bypass Road. Now, that is cer­tain­ly descrip­tive of what the road is, but you have to admit it’s not exact­ly inspired.

The new­er bypass on the east­ern side of town has a much bet­ter name: Veterans Memorial Parkway. Not exact­ly orig­i­nal, but still a great choice as it hon­ors those who have served our nation in the armed forces and adds a bit of char­ac­ter to the road.

I like the name cho­sen for Mount Sterling’s bypass: Indian Mound Drive. Now, there’s a great name for a road. It hon­ors local his­to­ry and the native peo­ple who built the mounds for which the town is known. When you look up and see that name, you know you’re not in just any town in America.

I think Winchester’s major high­way is deserv­ing of such a unique name. I’ve been think­ing about pos­si­ble peo­ple, places, and his­tor­i­cal ref­er­ences we might use in renam­ing our own bypass.

This is just a thought exper­i­ment; I’m not seri­ous­ly sug­gest­ing any of my ideas be adopt­ed. I’m try­ing to spur a con­ver­sa­tion — some­thing for which I will always strive.

There are some peo­ple of note who are asso­ci­at­ed with Winchester and Clark County whose names we might deem wor­thy of grac­ing the bypass. Daniel Boone and George Rogers Clark come quick­ly to mind. Of course, both already have name­sakes in our com­mu­ni­ty. There are Boone Avenue, Boonesboro Road, as well as George Rogers Clark High School.

Turning to more recent his­to­ry, there are oth­er peo­ple of note we might con­sid­er, includ­ing jour­nal­ist Helen Thomas and musi­cian and famed instru­ment mak­er Homer Ledford. I think either of those peo­ple is well-deserv­ing of the hon­or. No doubt there are others.

If select­ing one per­son seems too dif­fi­cult or per­haps con­tro­ver­sial, maybe choos­ing a prod­uct asso­ci­at­ed with our town would fit the bill. How about “Beer Cheese Boulevard” or “Ale-8-One Highway?”

Though per­haps a bit gener­ic, the word “pio­neer” is often asso­ci­at­ed with our town, as in the annu­al fall fes­ti­val that hon­ors Boone and oth­ers who estab­lished ear­ly set­tle­ments in the area. I kind of like the sound of “Pioneer Parkway.”

Whether or not you like any of my sug­ges­tions is irrel­e­vant. I’m sure there are more cre­ative minds than mine who could come up with the per­fect moniker. My point is it would be a great boost to our com­mu­ni­ty to have a name on its most trav­eled road which is unique to us and shows our Winchester pride to the region and to the world.

Let’s start a con­ver­sa­tion. Drop me an email or com­ment on Facebook and let’s hear some more ideas. Another pos­si­bil­i­ty to con­sid­er is that per­haps the name is fine as is. If you feel no change is need­ed, I’d still like to hear from you.

  • Pete Koutoulas

    Pete is an IT pro­fes­sion­al work­ing in Lexington. Formerly of Campton, he and his wife have lived in Winchester since 2015. Pete is a for­mer week­ly news­pa­per pub­lish­er and for­mer colum­nist for the Winchester Sun. These days, when not work­ing he can often be found on his back porch read­ing or writ­ing, in the back­yard tend­ing to his toma­to plants, or put­ter­ing around in his garage or work­shop. Reach Pete at pete@wincitynews.org.