Osama bin Laden may be alive, but Usuma Court is no more.
Mecklenburg County, N.C., commissioners erased the terrorist-sounding street name from the map last week, replacing it with the still secretive but less threatening Hidden Court.
Resident John Wolter, whose past addresses include the USS Abraham Lincoln, moved into his Usuma Court home a year ago and found the name distasteful.
"After serving in the military for 11 years, I don't want to be associated with that at all," said Wolter, 36.
Pronounced "oo-SOOM-uh," the street name closely resembles "Usama," an alternate spelling of the al Qaeda leader's first name.
So far, Wolter and his family are the only residents of Usuma Court in the Mountain Island Harbor subdivision northwest of Charlotte. Developers plan 19 more houses on the street.
So what's an Usuma? No one really knows.
Matt McDonald of development firm LandCraft said his company picked the name in 2000, but he's not sure why. An Internet search reveals Usuma is the name of a Nigerian dam and a Thai livestock department official. Neither seems much of an inspiration for a street name.
Wolter said the new name, Hidden Court, is fitting.
"Nobody can ever find it anyway," he said.