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Getting ready for an address change with the Sixth Sextant as leading zeroes get dropped

It's a change that's been in the works so long you'll be forgiven if you forgot that thousands of people who now live in Southwest Portland will begin a mass migration to South Portland in about six months.

Not physically, of course. There won't be caravans of migrants on Barbur Boulevard. But eventually these resettled people will have to decide if they're okay with saying they live in South Portland, rather than Southwest Portland.

Because that's what their official address will be. If you live on Southwest Corbett Avenue now, get ready to shorten that address to South Corbett Avenue (or S. Corbett Ave.) beginning in May, 2020.

Two major institutions are affected. Oregon Health & Science University South Waterfront outpost will be at 3301 S. Bond Ave. rather than Southwest Bond Avenue. Lewis and Clark College will no longer be found at 0615 S.W. Palantine Road, but at 615 S. Palantine Road.

Not only is Lewis and Clark losing its southwest designation, it's also losing its "leading zero." In June of 2018 the Portland City Council approved this plan to clear up confusion caused by the thousands of addresses between Southwest Naito Parkway/Southwest Barbur Boulevard and the Willamette River that begin with a zero. Emergency dispatchers and delivery services had been complaining to the city for years.

In doing so, the Council created a new section of Portland. Since 1931, the city has been divided into five "quadrants": Southwest, Southeast, Northwest, Northeast and North Portland. Back then there were so few people living in what is now officially South Portland that it got lumped in with Southwest Portland. The South area is now also known as the Sixth Sextant.

The first visible sign of the change you'll see is when new street signs start going up in May. The Portland Bureau of Transportation is having 867 new signs made to be installed at 318 intersections. The old signs won't be removed for another five years.

The U.S. Postal Service will continue to deliver envelopes and packages addressed using either the old or new directional system.

As for new digital mapping technologies, PBOT says Geographical Information Systems used in mapping apps are being updated along with the Portland address database.

For a full, official explanation of what's called the South Portland Addressing Project and to see if your address will change see transportation/article/673632

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