PORTLAND, Ore. — City transportation officials are considering changing the addresses of an area west of the Willamette River to be designated as South Portland.

A narrow strip of the city along the river and roughly east of the Southwest Naito Parkway currently falls under Southwest Portland, one of the five current city-designated directional sectors, The Oregonian/OregonLive reported .

The city isn’t attempting to create new neighborhoods with the change but to meet a request from the city’s emergency personnel, said Dylan Rivera, a spokesman for the Portland Bureau of Transportation.

“This is a high priority for the fire bureau, and we’ve tried to be responsive to them,” Rivera said.

About 5,000 property owners in the area around the South Waterfront neighborhood have addresses with a zero before the street number.

That leading zero can cause confusion when people call for emergency services and attempt to give directions, Rivera said.

The address change would eliminate the zero. The current southwest designation placed before street names in this area would change to south.

About 8 percent of residents with a Southwest Portland address would change to South Portland, Rivera said.

If the City Council approves the measure, the changes could go into effect in May 2020. Street signs with both the south and southwest designations would remain in place until 2025.

The City Council may hold a hearing on the proposal in late May.

Information from: The Oregonian/OregonLive, http://www.oregonlive.com

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