France commune

A French village plans to (finally) number its houses and name its streets

A small village in central France finally seems ready to give its streets official names (and number its houses) after decades without any. However, not all 430 residents agree with the move.

The Creuse village of Faux-la-Montagne has so far gone without street names, as no one seemed to think they were necessary. Residents felt like they knew where everything was and street names seemed redundant.

French law allows municipalities with less than 2,000 inhabitants to leave their streets unnamed if they wish.

But now the village mayor Catherine Moulin is working on a plan to name roads, alleys and public squares after several problems arose due to the lack of official addresses.

“Proper functioning of services”

Postal workers have particularly struggled, and the issue has also posed problems for emergency services.

Ms Mill told BMFTV“Until now, we had postal workers who had spent their entire career here. They knew the place, the locals – but in the last 10 years that has changed.

“La Poste sends more and more employees on fixed-term contracts who change every 18 months, and these people obviously do not know the territory or the people.

“We have already been asked [to name the streets] several times by La Poste but so far we had resisted the pressure. But now not a day goes by without a lost delivery driver coming back [the mairie] to ask us to pick up a package.

Specialist in public law Ms. Delphine Krust says that if the municipalities are authorized not to name their streets, the local council must still “ensure the proper functioning of the public services for which it is responsible, in particular with regard to letters and parcels from La Poste”.

Mayor Ms Moulin said emergency services have also found the situation difficult recently.

She says: “With the SAMU, things are generally fine because they know the neighborhood and the people relatively well. But it’s more difficult with private ambulances. In the past, this has led to dramatic situations.

She added that the status quo could also cause problems with future technology.

She said: “We are going to have to figure this out if we want fiber optic internet to come in 2025 as planned. If only for that, we have to number the houses. We have no right to prevent our residents from having access to this kind of service.

Amazon sucks

However, the plans received objections from some. In mid-October, authorities received an anonymous letter from a person strongly opposed to this decision.

Ms Moulin explained: “People think if we do this it will encourage deliveries from Amazon, but I don’t think we can suggest that not naming our streets will in any way undermine another Amazon.”

Street name rules

Regarding street naming, legal expert Ms Krust explained that the process is “not arbitrary”.

She said: “The name of a street must be in keeping with public order and ‘good morals’ (the definition of which is bound to evolve over time), and it can be linked to the town itself. “

The mayor specifies that nothing has yet been decided with certainty and that the question should be debated by the municipal council before the end of the year.

However, she has already begun to collect suggestions for street names from residents, with a view to studying them in the coming weeks.

Ms Moulin said: ‘These are just ideas, but some locals have suggested that all street names in the commune should be women’s names, for example.’

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