I Wonder: Is it ParkCenter, Parkcenter or Park Center?

Credit: Don Day/KTVB.COM

I Wonder: Is it ParkCenter, Parkcenter or Park Center?


by Don Day KTVB.COM

Bio | Email | Follow: @DonLDay


Posted on October 25, 2009 at 3:00 PM

I wonder if it's ParkCenter or Parkcenter? I have seen it listed both ways.-TC by e-mail

BOISE - It's one of Boise's signature streets - the long, winding boulevard through Southeast Boise near the Boise River.

What the street gains in prominence, it lacks in consistency. Is it ParkCenter, Park Center or Parkcenter? It depends on where you look - and who you ask.

The ParkCenter Mall likes to be "PC" with a capital P and a capital C. Parkcenter Park just got a new sign - and as you can "c" it goes with a small c.

But the boulevard itself? That question gets a bit murkier.

We checked with Ada County - which keeps the official record of street names. But the information in the database is stored in call caps: PARKCENTER. That tells us the official name is one word - but doesn't shed any light on which letters are capitalized.

A quick drive down the street shows sign makers haven't been consistent, either. You'll find PARKCENTER, PARK CENTER - and even a new sign in upper and lower case marked Parkcenter.

"Over the years, we used all caps on street signs," Ada County Highway District spokesperson Robbie Johnson said. "The big C did not translate well. It was kind of lost a bit."

Recently though, ACHD began transitioning street signs to a new format - which throws out the ALL CAPS style for mixed-case. New signs where the boulevard meets Law St. declare it "Parkcenter."

Johnson said she started looking into the capitalization confusion earlier this year while preparing a news release about a new stoplight at that intersection.

Historically, the street was named ParkCenter - following the tradition set in place by developers of a mixed-use project in the area.

State Senator Chuck Winder was one of the developers of the project. It included headquarters buildings for Albertsons and Ore-Ida, the mini-mall and some restaurants

"It's spelled one word, ParkCenter," Winder said. "In our marketing stuff, we actually capitalized the C."

So why the discrepancy?

"When the road went in and the bridge went in, the name was ParkCenter (big c) because of the history and development process," Johnson said.

But as ACHD started the transition to mixed-case signs, agency officials looked to yet another group - the Boise Street Naming Committee - for guidance.

"They don't see the need to have it as a big c," Johnson said. "The big c could be seen as a branding, marketing thing - there's no need for it on a street sign."

So closed case, done deal - the park is "Parkcenter," the mall is "ParkCenter, and the street is "Parkcenter," right?

Well, no.

Johnson said ACHD still considers it "ParkCenter Blvd.," and references in news releases, on ACHD's website and elsewhere will keep the big C intact - but future street signs will feature the small c.

I Wonder bonus: When will the East ParkCenter Bridge open?

You may have noticed that the new span which runs from Bown Crossing to Harris Ranch looks like it is nearly done. Johnson says the official opening is slated for November, but it could open before that if the stars align.

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