Rename 42nd Ave to Douglas Adams Boulevard?

Now that the Cesar Chavez Blvd contretemps has run its course (mostly), another citizens group has formed to rename yet another street: 42nd Avenue.

Brought to you by the blog Geek in the City, the group would like to change the name of 42nd Avenue to "Douglas Adams Boulevard".

Who is Douglas Adams? He's best-known as the author of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series of science fiction comedy novels.

DontpanicWhy rename 42nd? From

Transforming 42nd Avenue into Douglas Adams Boulevard will reflect upon all those who live and work in the City of Portland.

It will reflect Portlanders’ commitment to the arts.

It will reflect Portlanders’ respect for the environment.

It will reflect Portlanders’ desire to provide technological access to all.

It will reflect Portlanders’ passion to further education to all people.

It will remind all Portlanders’ the most important lesson in times of uncertainty and fear…


Yes, but why 42nd? doesn't provide the answer. However, as a service to BlueOregon readers, we will. But it's a spoiler for the comedy series, so we'll offer it on the jump.

You see, in the The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, a computer is built to find "The Ultimate Answer to The Great Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything" and a simple answer is requested.

After seven million years, the computer responds with the answer: 42.

Later, after much galactic frustration, another computer is built to figure out what the question was.

There's more detail at Wikipedia. See "Answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything".


(Hat tip to Mercury Blogtown.)

  • Eric Parker (unverified)

    ..and hang towels over the street and wriote the words "Don't Panic" every two blocks on the spped bumps.

  • (Show?)

    This idea is the hoopiest.

  • trishka (unverified)

    I LOVE IT!!!!!!!

  • Jason (unverified)

    This is an undeniably wonderful idea! I'm so tired of streets named after trees, dead presidents, and other states!

  • holly martins (unverified)

    And I recommend the rename Harbor Drive "The Lars Larson Freeway." A couple of fine reasons for this: first, it no longer exists, and while it did it was a terrible eyesore. It was demolished for a park – for god’s sake, and its demise helped create a better urban environment for Portlanders.

    And since Larson has a fetish for all things paved, he’s the perfect honoree for a razed road.

  • Dirk Gently (unverified)

    I'm so in love with this idea... and not only because Douglas Adams wrote Hitchhikers, but because he was a wonderful advocate for empowering technology and environmental stewardship way before it was cool.

    It's a belgiuming great idea!

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    I heard a rumor that in Salem they plan to rename Pine St NE and Silverton Rd NE. They'll be known as Keep St NE and Weird Rd NE, respectively.

  • Terri (unverified)

    SW Salmon. Matt Groening Blvd.

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    SW Salmon. Matt Groening Blvd.

    I'd be all over THAT like a cheap suit. Excellent.

  • Jack (unverified)

    How about giving Mel Blanc some love? He was a Portlander. Maybe we can rename all of the eastside streets after the cartoon characters that Mel Blanc voiced. Bugs Bunny Boulevard, Daffy Duck Drive, Porky Pig Place, Yosemite Sam Street, etc.

    The westside streets can be named after Simpsons characters. Wait a minute, most of the Simpsons characters already have streets named after them. When did the City Council slip that one past us?

  • Gold (unverified)

    I think each month we should have a lottery with all PDX residents in the hat. The lucky person chosen will get to pick a street and rename it. Personally, I would pick SW Park Ave and rename it "Full Nelson Way" after Billy Jack Haynes. Who is Park anyway and what did she/he do?

  • (Show?)

    There's an Evergreen St in Clackamas, but no Evergreen Terrace. Changing that would only require some stickers printed on someone's computer..... hmmmmm, that's not a bad idea, aside from the illegality.... Official Disclaimer: Blue Oregon and it's readers/bloggers/posters/contributors DO NOT advocate or condone the unauthorized changing of public signage. But hell we can't be everywhere at once now can we?

  • sean cruz (unverified)

    I would like to see all of the stoplights replaced with mimes, handsignals, mimes spraypainted in cheerful colors.

  • Anon (unverified)

    This is an issue that should be addressed on a national level.

    What do Hillary and Obama have to say about it? We need to ask them!

  • paul (unverified)

    You people are absolutely hilarious...many thanks, this is wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyy too much fun. Happy Thanksgiving!

  • edison (unverified)

    "I would like to see all of the stoplights replaced with mimes, handsignals, mimes spraypainted in cheerful colors."

    There's so much right about this suggestion and it would improve bicyclist safety too, I bet. Further, I'd like to add my support to the idea that if streets are renamed then perhaps we could consider the names of people with some local connection(s). John Reed, Marie Equi, Stanley Moore?

  • Displaced Oregano (unverified)

    West side roads for Simpsons?

    The road into Trojan could be Montgomery Burns Way.

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    Holly, you need to post here more often!

  • sean cruz (unverified)

    Montgomery Burns Way at the Trojan site! Now THAT's an idea! An avenue lined with the charred remnants of former mimes, frozen forever in extravagant handsignal glory....

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    We ain't even close to the end of the Cesar Chavez/4th street mess.

    The Chinese in NW are a bit perplexed as to how the street that runs right through the ornate front gate of Chinatown could be renamed for a mexican-american farm labor leader from California.

    Now they have their own guy up for consideration, Sun Yat Sen, who was one of the great asian intellects of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, when China was working to eject the european and american colonialists and opium traders.

    I'm pretty sure that Sun Yat Sen, Cesar Chaez, and Ford Perfect would agree that we might find better ways to kill time that the Street Naming Fratricide Game.

    But it's so-o-o-o-o-o much fun.

  • Lewis (unverified)

    Why don't we just toss ALL OF THE STREETS in the city up in the air and call them whatever name we want to. No names, no numbers. Just "so and so" street....."over along, you know, that street that runs....." Think how much $$$ we'd save in making/repairing/changing street signs and names.

  • sean cruz (unverified)

    I'm thinking that if the part of the street that runs in front of my house was named for me, I might be easier for the US Postal Service to find, although it may be a little tough on the neighbors.

  • keith (unverified)

    Does this mean the Pub at the end of the universe will have to move to 42nd?

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    I don't know...Doug Adams's portrayal of Vogons, while typical of English attitudes in his own time, is hardly the sort of stereotyping we should be promoting. (I'm pretty sure that's why his 5-book trilogy has been put behind the counter at most school libraries.)

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    There also seems to be something appropriate about SE 42nd as one of Portland's many discontinuous nominal "grid" streets. And Otto's would be at the corner of Woodstock & Douglas Adams!, in my neck of the Woods.

  • Zarathustra (unverified)

    Figures I live on 42nd and I won't be around to see/fight for this...

    Don't forget about Dr. Who. I'm surprised no one mentioned the idea of periodically, at random, picking a different street to be Douglas Adams Blvd, for a time, as a kind of regeneration.

    Using Simpson names is a little circular, since Groening used the street names for the characters in the first place.

    Well, if this happens, kudos to the enterprising individual that opens a bar on 42nd and Hawthorne named Madagascar.

    The idea with Douglas Adams is that he represents Portland, at least SE Potland values.

    If you still don't get it, I'll provide you with a portal to another dimension. Portal to Magrathea

  • bye bye Smith (unverified)

    I suggest renaming the Fremont Bridge to We Impeached Bush for Freedom Bridge. Please, everybody stop playing the race card every time something doesn't go your way.

  • Anne H (unverified)

    Seriously: could we PLEASE do something about NE Failing Street? It's embarrassing. "No, no 'Sailing.' Failing. That's F as in Frank, A-I-L-I-N-G. Uh huh. That's right. The opposite of succeeding..."

    I say we rename it Bud Clark Street.

  • Garlynn -- (unverified)

    I like the Douglas Adams idea.

    As for Sun Yat Sen, he wasn't an American, he doesn't really represent American ideals or aspirations, and there aren't even any actual Chinese living in Chinatown (they all live out in the hoods and commute in to run their businesses)!! So, it's a non-starter. I do agree that running Cesar Chavez St through the gates of Chinatown is just a little bit silly, though. It's just too bad that we don't yet have any prominent Chinese-Americans that have done something so wonderful for this country that they deserve to actually have a street named after them. But, that's not the point. The point is that Cesar Chavez was a wonderful Mexican-American (or, American of Mexican ancestry) who does deserve to have a street AND a plaza named after him, for his contributions to AMERICAN society. Shame on any Chinese-American who would try to denigrate this because he wasn't Chinese-American.

  • (Show?)

    How about Lalu Nathoy, who was sold into slavery in China, sold twice more as a prostitute in San Fransisco, married a caucasian saloon keeper, outlived him, and wound up being the sole source for medicine in the area surrounding the Warren, Idaho mining camp where she lived?

    When her common law husband died, the locals had to circumvent US law to allow her to inherit her own house.

    Read all about her in Ruthanne Lum McCunn's Thousand Pieces of Gold

    A true feminist hero, and an "American" who's house is on the national historic registry.


    Guess what? We all have our heros. I like mine. You like yours. Preference for my hero denotes no disrespect for your hero.


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