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.
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 I’ve been thinking about possible people, places, and historical references we might use in renaming our own bypass.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.