Neighbors Unenthused About Proposal to Change Road Name to ‘Dick Street'

Neighbors living on a particular stretch of a New Jersey road are struggling with the idea of changing the name of their street to make it less confusing. 

The road in Clifton stretches only about three blocks; one part is called Ellsworth Street, but once a person crosses Howard Street, the rest of the road is Dick Street. City leaders have proposed changing the name of Ellsworth Street to Dick Street to make it easier to find in an emergency. 

But living on a street that's the butt of jokes isn't what Kenneth Roman wants. 

"People laugh when they think of Dick Street," said Roman, who lives on Ellsworth Avenue. "It's not exactly a good name for a street. They can name it anything they want except for Dick Street." 

Roman and five of his neighbors live on the one-block section of Ellsworth, about half a mile away from the rest of the street. 

"I don't like it. It's a change of address and I don't like the name," said neighbor Anil Rana.

Rana worries that changing his home address on his driver's license and all of his paperwork will be a huge headache. Plus, he thinks switching his home address from Ellsworth Street to what he calls a less than flattering street name will make his property value go down. 

"I don't want to screw up my life," he said. 

Turns out people have had reservations about the street address for decades. Samantha Trella's grandfather Lou was the develor who built most of the homes in this neighborhood, but when it came time to build his own home at the corner of Howard and Dick in 1955, someone was not thrilled about it.

"The story goes that my grandmother did not want a Dick Street address. So we have a Howard Avenue address," said Samantha Trella, who lives in Clifton. 

John Sedlak says living on Dick Street isn't as embarrassing as everyone thinks.

"I know people who are named Dick, or their name is Richard and they're called Dick," said Sedlak with a shrug. 

A city council meeting in Clifton next Tuesday will include a vote to change the name. Meanwhile, NBC 4's own GPS navigation to get to Ellsworth worked just fine -- it guided to the proper section of the street. 

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