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Ask the Times: Why Green Street NE and NW flip near Turnstile
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This marker for unknown victims of the 1936 tornado is located in Alta Vista Cemetery. - photo by Tom Reed | The Times

If you've been wondering about something in your community, Ask The Times is your place to get it answered. The following questions were submitted by readers and answered through the efforts of our news staff.

Why does Green Street NE and NW flip to the opposite side near Turnstile? It really messes with GPS maps.

Dee Taylor, Gainesville's traffic engineer, said street names in the city include a direction that corresponds with a grid-numbering system and associated area of town.

This particular section of Green Street divides the east and west side of the city, so on the east side it reads Greet Street NE and on the west, Green Street NW, he said.

Another quirk of Green Street and some other roads in the downtown area is that they are broken in half by certain developments.

In the 1970s, the development and realignment of E.E. Butler Parkway made it the main route through town instead of Green Street. Bradford Street also was broken in half due to the construction of the Georgia Mountains Center.

"It is a good thing we have the quadrant street name system since so many of these streets are severed," Taylor said.

I think I read somewhere once that the unidentified victims of the Tornado of '36 were buried in a mass grave. If so, where is it located?

We are not aware of a mass grave, but Alta Vista Cemetery Superintendent Vince Evans said there is a double grave for an unidentified man and unidentified woman killed in the tornado.

The grave is on the corner of Shallowford Road and 1st Avenue in Gainesville, behind the cemetery office.

Evans said he believes the same man and woman buried here were those memorialized at a service May 5 at the First Methodist Church, about a month after the tornado struck.

The unidentified man and woman signified for the community all who had been lost in the tragedy.

Some 2,000 attended that service, with speakers broadcasting the sermon to a large crowd gathered outside.

The tornado of 1936 struck Gainesville the morning of April 6 and killed about 200. It is the fifth deadliest tornado in U.S. history.

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