Arlington Won't Name a Street for MLK, But Says New Sign Toppers Honor His "Can-Do Legacy"

Categories: News

MartinLutherKing.jpg
Naming a street for Martin Luther King Jr. is perhaps the easiest way a city can express its approval of the civil rights movement. Aside from whatever pittance is required to update maps and street signs, it's completely painless, particularly since it doesn't require any actual effort to address stubborn residential segregation or racial gaps in income, education or geography.

For Arlington, though, that's a bridge too far. So, instead of devoting an entire roadway to the nation's preeminent civil rights icon, they're honoring his legacy with 16 tasteful sign toppers.

City leaders are celebrating the sign toppers as a major accomplishment. Mayor Robert Cluck is proud that they will be placed along Center Street, "the center of our community."

Arlington City Councilman Michael Glaspie told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, "It gives us the chance to honor a great person who changed our lives." The placement of the sign toppers "speaks to King's can-do legacy."

The Arlington branch of the NAACP isn't so sure. For several years, it has been pushing for a street to be named for MLK. In 2012, the branch was rebuffed in its attempt to rechristen Division Street, by property owners reluctant to change signs and business cards.

Maybe Division Street wasn't the right spot, but those pushing for an MLK street in Arlington make a compelling argument. In a town with a Nolan Ryan Expressway and a Tom Landry Freeway, shouldn't there enough asphalt for a King?

Send your story tips to the author, Eric Nicholson.


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35 comments
brewer_anthony
brewer_anthony

As animas pointed out below., these "tributes" are just hollow, trite gestures.

I'm still confused about the whole "easiest way a city can express its approval of the civil rights movement". Approval is always easy after the fact...hence the banality and disingenuousness of this gesture.

wontunow
wontunow

MLK Blvd in Dallas is scary looking.  Who wants that?

AdamsonScott
AdamsonScott

"Aside from whatever pittance is required to update maps and street signs, it's completely painless"

Wrong.   Everyone on the street has to change their utility bills, letterhead and business cards; the government jurisdiction(s) have to produce new street signs at every block and intersection and then pay the most-likely-unionized workers overtime to install the signs; mapmakers have to be notified, tourists have to be directed so they don't get lost; just for starters.  it's expensive and *far* from painless.

killwhitepriv
killwhitepriv

Forcibly dismantle white privilege! Exterminate whiteness!

The only hope for a truly progressive future full of progress is for the USA to become even more like a combination of black-governed African countries and Mexico!

America needs to have its white population forcibly reduced and we need to expidite the mass immigration of Africans and Latinos into places that are afflicted by too many whites and their sickening disease of whiteness! Read Peggy McIntosh!

Sharon_Moreanus
Sharon_Moreanus topcommenter

Rosa Parks is happy they finally got a bus.

Street names will come later.

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

I live in Dallas and I do not want any streets named after the war criminal and worst President of the United States, George W. Bush. 

animas
animas

There are so many metropolitan MLK and CC named streets nationally  that it is almost a  banal, redundant , and  repetitive GPS nightmare.  If they wanted to name an Arlington street after the well thought of and productive   two term black ex mayor of Arlington,  I think that would get local support.  "Elzie Odom Ave " has a nice ring to it.

ruddski
ruddski

Why Division Street?

Tote-the-Notes, bail bondsmen, bums, cheap bars, bum hotels, drunks, and 'roiding cops looking for drunk UTA kids - all on a patched, narrow and bumpy POS roadway. This is "the center of the community"?

Helluva way to honor the man.

Re-name the section of Randol Mill that fronts the building where men of the African-American community dominate and earn gazillions of dollars, or by Arlington Memorial or some place that representatives of success frequent.

mlpjlk
mlpjlk

I live in Arlington and I don't want a street renamed after MLK. He was a good person and achieved a lot.  This does not mean we name a street after each person we hold in high regard.... besides, if you have driven down MLK Blvd in almost any city you will be in a neighborhood where you would be afraid to even get out of your car. 

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

@brewer_anthony 

Are you trying to suggest that these "sign-toppers" are a banal gesture?

C'mon, man. These aren't just signs, they're SIGN TOPPERS! They top signs by their very definition.

This is significant.

ruddski
ruddski

Too late, Hon, but we look forward to your Femen-style protest

ruddski
ruddski

Modern GPS can differentiate between Main Street, Ft Worth, and Main Street in Euless, multiple MLKs shouldn't be a prob.

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

@ruddski 

Actually, when you consider the whole thing, maybe Division St. is aptly named.

P1Gunter
P1Gunter

Dallas gave him like 3 blocks, lol.

ruddski
ruddski

There are 3,240 things named "Peacthree" in the Atlanta area. Atlantis is also real humid. Two reasons to avoid the place, but I'll be there Sunday none the less.

animas
animas

@ruddski Two problems:  If a street name is recently changed, it may not  immediately register in your GPS.--just as temporary  road construction/closures may not register immediately  If a street is 2-3 blocks long or discontinuous or named differently at different short intervals ( ie Exposition blvd/15th St Austin),it gets more interesting still .If you live in a Metropolitan area with multiple identically  named streets --it is still a pain,just like looking for a generic hotel name in a congested area  with multiple such hotels when you can't recall the.exact street address.

ruddski
ruddski

He's the yin to your yang, hon.

wontunow
wontunow

Maybe you ainty been to MLK Blvd and witnessed all the public drinking and loitering in front of businesses, huh psycho.
.

ruddski
ruddski

The difference with Cesar Chavez is there is a biblical mandate to give him his just due.

ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul
ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul topcommenter

@P1Gunter 

Cesar Chavez Blvd is from at least Elm to Grand Ave, at least a mile.  MLK Blvd is only slightly longer, perhaps 1.2 miles from Robert B. Cullum to S. Lamar St.

ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul
ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul topcommenter

@ruddski 

As having been institutionalized for four years at the North Avenue Trade School, I am only too aware of the bounty of Peachtrees in Atlanta.  Now then if I could only get an FO and rings.

ruddski
ruddski

There may be reasonable arguments for not renaming streets, I've seen several here and elsewhere over time.

But this is the first and only stump-the-GPS argument I've ever seen, and I think maybe there's a reason for that.

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