Names once applied to streets, bridges and buildings tend to stick, even when those names are officially changed. You still sometimes hear people refer to Nichols Avenue, though its name was changed to Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue SE a decade and a half ago. And when did you last hear someone refer to the American Legion Memorial Bridge?

So it's important now to nip the Springfield Bypass in the bud, so to speak. The road is a proposed sort of second-string beltway running from west of Fairfax City to the U.S. 1 corridor south of Alexandria. Yes, it bypasses Springfield. But to call it the Springfield Bypass -- sounds like coronary surgery, doesn't it? -- is as appropriate as calling the Capital Beltway the Silver Spring Bypass. Yes, it does, but that's not all it does.

But what would one call it? Any history buffs out there with a suggestion?

And while we're at it, how about something better than the uninspired Dulles Airport Access Road and the Dulles Toll Road -- renaming them the Dulles Airport Boulevard and the Dulles Tollway are possibilities.

Oh, yes -- the American Legion Memorial Bridge? That's the official name, by act of the Maryland General Assembly, of what we commonly call the Cabin John Bridge that carries the Beltway across the Potomac. Shenandoah Firefighters

News accounts from the far West reported recently that firefighters from many states across the nation were sent to fight the blazes that swept federal forest lands.

Shenandoah National Park sent 38 to fight fires in Idaho and California. Park officials reported yesterday that all have returned home.

Larry Hakel, Shenandoah's chief ranger, had warned that if problems arose in Virginia in their absence, park access might have to be restricted. Fortunately, that wasn't necessary.