President Who?

Tailpipe took heed. Maybe Mayor Mara's complaint seemed almost reasonable.

Drive through Hollywood and you get a history lesson. There's a nearly century-old tradition of naming city roads after ex-presidents, from Washington Street to Coolidge Street, in exact order of succession.

But then there was this, jutting from a pole at the corner of Federal Highway. "Polk Street," the sign read, referring to former President James Polk. But under the street name was another name -- Radius Drive, as in Lane Company's 12-story Radius condo tower going up near Young Circle. Polk Street now has an official co-name.

Had Hollywood become Developer-

landia, altering tradition for a fat-cat condo developer?

"Only someone from New Times could say that with a straight face," Mayor Mara responded, noting that two other city streets are co-named, respectively, for baseball slugger and children's hospital namesake Joe DiMaggio and residential developer Ben Tobin.

As for co-naming a street for a gleaming condo tower now under construction: Don't blame me, Mara said in effect. The decision to give Polk Street a developer-friendly co-name was made by her mayoral predecessors, David Keating and Sal Oliveri.

"Not that that will change your story!"

-- As told to Edmund Newton

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