Atlanta has a pretty serious history of street name-changing ridiculousness. A certain street on the west side of the city has gone through four names (based on some serious Wikipedia-ing, it looks like it went from Bellwood Ave to Bankhead Ave in the 1920s to Bankhead Highway to, most recently, Donald Lee Hollowell Parkway. You can’t bounce on DLH. But I guess you don’t get robbed on DLH?).
Other egregious offenses that come to mind are the Lakewood Freeway -> Langford Parkway switch, Stewart -> Metropolitan, our Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, and, most ridiculous of all, a stretch of Memorial Drive has already been switched back to Memorial after a brief stint as Cynthia McKinney Parkway.
The latest round of street name changes is up for a vote this week. City Council is proposing to change Harris St. downtown to John Portman (the architect behind downtown’s gorgeous atrium hotels who is often partially blamed for the neighborhood’s dearth of welcoming street life), and to change Cone to recognize Xernona Clayton, a well-known civil rights activist and close friend to Coretta Scott King. Both people are living, both people have made significant contributions to the city, and, I strongly believe, neither street name change is warranted. Creative Loafing has a thoughtful editorial about the issue here — “A surefire way not to be remembered: Note to City Council: Street signs are not chalkboards.” (more…)