Somehow Warp Drive slipped past by attention in the recent Drive Me Crazy article, a collection of several creatively-named streets such as Line Drive for baseball stadiums, Disk Drive for an information technology company, and Doctor Drive which became a study in redundancy.
Reader Michael Hollinger rightly noted my omission of Warp Drive in a comment, and of course I deserved an additional "tsk-tsk" because of the proximity of one such prominent example located practically in my own backyard: "Not too far from you (in Sterling, off of 28), Orbital Sciences Corporation (they launch satellites) was able to name their road ‘Warp Drive.’"
Warp Drive, Sterling, Virginia, USA
This proved a couple of points. First, that I’m not very observant because I’ve driven past that spot numerous times over the years. Second, in spite of the 12MC article on Vulcan Beer, I’m not much of a Trekkie either. Don’t get me wrong, I’d never pass judgement on those who do identify as Trekkies. Anyone who’s ever read 12MC understands the geek factor here. Somehow Star Trek just never became one of my things.
Nonetheless, in honor and appreciation of those in the 12MC audience who may know more than their fair share of Klington phrases, I dug deep into the maps and discovered a veritable starfleet of Warp Drives. I selected three of the best.
Warp Drive et al., Turlock, California, USA
A small corner of a subdivision found in Turlock, California rose to the top of the list. It focused primarily on "Star Trek: The Next Generation" specifically. In addition to Warp Drive, I noted Picard Lane, Crusher Avenue and Ryker Court. Did the builders intentionally misspell Riker? Was that their attempt to instill a level of plausible deniability ("no, it’s not really named after Star Trek… see we named it Ryker not Riker"). I can’t imagine anyone with sufficient Trekkie bona fides allowing an error like that to slip by. I don’t think so. I blame the error a faceless clerk not knowing the difference and transcribing it incorrectly into the county records.
Warp Dr., N. Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
I found another space-age company with a Warp Drive. They apparently had both kinds of employees, Star Trek and Star Wars. The designation of Warp Drive and Skywalker Way would serve as a natural solution to that dilemma.
Both roads led to the headquarters of Bigelow Aerospace.
Since 1999 our mission has been to provide affordable options for spaceflight to national space agencies and corporate clients. In 2006 and 2007, we launched our orbiting prototypes Genesis I and Genesis II… our plan is to greatly exceed the usable space of the International Space Station at a fraction of the cost by developing our next generation spacecraft.
Star Trek and Star Wars seemed appropriate influences for a company hoping to moving the world towards either of those directions.
Warp Drive, Fairbanks, Alaska, USA
via Google Street View, August 2011
Rural Alaska offered a bonus discovery. Notice the homemade street sign for Warp Drive in Fairbanks. The script looked familiar even to my untrained non-Trekkie eyes. A little Intertubes sleuthing identified this as the font from the Star Trek: The Next Generation logo.
I thought that was a nice touch.
The neighborhood contained several other interesting street names. Jack London Court seemed appropriate in recognition of the author of The Call of the Wild and other stories from the Klondike Gold Rush days (Alaska isn’t Yukon, although close enough for this purpose I suppose). I was less sure what to make of Amanita Road. That’s a genus of mushrooms, some varieties edible and some the most deadly on the planet. Which one did they mean? Pick the wrong one and our friend from Warp Drive might not Live Long and Prosper.