Wednesday, October 25, 2006

MLK Street Designation Issue Heating Up

Although the biggest concern on many people's minds in Indianapolis right now is the rising crime rate, City-County Council President Monroe Gray has decided to take a break from his efforts to get a bar in the Julia Carson Government Center (his wife owns a piece of it) to get a 3-mile stretch of Michigan Road renamed Martin Luther King Drive. The proponents of the change don't like a compromise reached back in 1985, which renamed the street south of 38th Street after the slain civil rights leaders. They say "this effort to honor King does not fully encompass his vision for the 'beloved community,' a community of unity and peace for all people." Renaming all of Michigan Road after King "would show the unity that Dr. Martin Luther King stood for" according to Gray.

The Star's Brendan O'Shaughnessy reports that a group of civic leaders have been working on this proposal for six to eight months. Interestingly, the city-county councilor who represents most of the affected portions of Michigan Road, Angela Mansfield (D), did not learn of the proposal until just a few days ago. She supports a memorial designation for the affected stretch of the street, but not a name change, which many businesses along the route oppose. She tells O'Shaughnessy that several businesses along the road use "Michigan Road" in their company name.


Wilson46201 said...

21 years ago, the short street name-change was the best that African-Americans and others of goodwill could wrest from the totally GOP-controlled city, county and council.

Now that the political complexion of our fair city has changed significantly, it's more likely that the original plan of completely changing the name of Michigan Road to Dr. M.L.King Avenue can be at last achieved.

Anonymous said...

Because that will fix everything.

Let's name Michigan Rd. "MLK Drive", Michigan St "Malcom X Street", New York St. "Medgar Evers Blvd." and rename Indiana Avenue "Mmoja Ajabu Way".. Because so many good things resulted from MLK Dr and Dr. AJ Brown Ave.

Hell since Peoria, Illinois didn't rename a street after one of their own let's rename Shadeland Ave as "Richard Pryor Avenue" just for good measure.

There's a lot of other things this city needs to do to fix itself and keeping DPW busy making street signs isn't one of them!!

Gary R. Welsh said...

Now you're just writing like a racist, sir hailstone.

Wilson46201 said...

Well, it certainly didnt take long for racists like "hailstone" to appear to crap up this discussion but he represents so well the electoral base of the contemporary GOP.

Anonymous said...

No, I'm just trying to point out there's a lot bigger problems here than just renaming a damned street. Like out of control crime, meth and other drugs, illegal gambling, among other things.

Don't get distracted by the shiny objects being waved by Monroe Gray this is just a diversion while he makes good on his bar and pea shake investment.

Anonymous said...

In the category of "Even a Blind Pig Easts Some Slop Sometimes" :

I don't hardly ever agree with Pea Shake. But the street name thing is confusing. Try to navigate a visitor on the Northwest side. It's a mess. And then, if your visitor's travel path includes Kessler Blvd., East, West or South, forget it. People actually get lost in a city that's fairly square-shaped and easy to navigate if we don't frick up the street names.

There are seven businesses in the phone book that list Michigan Road in their names. One is my vet clinic, and they have a branch in Zionsville, so I don't think renaming is a big deal for them. I drove down Michigan Road last night, and not one other business used the Michigan Road name on their signage, as far as I could see.

Either rename Michigan Road or MLK--the same name all the way. It'd be a lot easier.

But I bet you a hundred bucks the new art museum director is gonna get his tail jerked for sticking his nose into this mess. He had no idea, I'm sure.

With only seven total businesses using the road name in their business name, this isn't about commerce. It's about race. Let's at least be honest about it.

There is no solid reason, other than aggravation, for failing to rename this street.

If we were gonna be accurate about it, though, we ought to rename it Speed Avenue. Cars routinely drive 65 mph. It's a deathtrap.
Try to drive 45'll get run over. Last night, while driving on Mich Rd., a Pike school bus passed me,, and I was going 55.

Just to keep up. At that speed, I'm not sure it makes any damned difference at all if it's renamed MLK.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

How many have Mich. Rd as part of thier business address ?

Wilson46201 said...

Some of this discussion on this topic reminds me of folk in 1860 saying they'd love to free their slaves but it's just too expensive to make the change !

Anonymous said...

I would not care if they were going to rename a street to Donald Duck or Mickey Mouse - The city council has bigger problems to fix than a street name change.

Anonymous said...

No Name Change

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Memorial Way

If there is going to be a change, I would support a memorial way, rather than a street renaming. Michigan Road is a part of U. S. and Indiana History.

There are more important issues needing to be addressed regarding race relations in this city. Several individuals listed are not native born Hoosiers; therefore Indiana history has no significant meaning to them.

What is the relationship of Rev. King to Michigan Road or the north Westside of the city?

West, Northwestern, Michigan Road, US 431,

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King was a Baptist Minister; references to him should read "Rev. Martin Luther King" Memorial Way, for historical purposes.

Indianapolis is my home, preserve Indiana historical landmarks first, and all other history is secondary.

Ceremonial tributes will not fix the problems in this city.

Anonymous said...

11:29: all of them. If the name is changed, as their stationery runs out, they could replace it. I am sure an arrangement could be made with the USPS to continue to deliver mail to Mich. Rd. addresses.

Jocelyn, Dr. King's children have weighed in on this issue of "Re. Dr." or just plain "Dr." And Coretta did, too...she preferred Dr. Which is why it is almost always that way.

And, Jocelyn, I am sure you didn't mean to imply, that only native-born Hoosiers can have an interest in Indiana history.

If so, it was a really stupid thing to say.

Frankly, this is a small thing the CCC could do to give clarity to street names. I don't see the big deal.

But everyone who's noted it is right" there are certainly bigger issues before the CCC. Evidently Peashake and his cohorts have been drumming up support instead of spending time on the fall election. Or, he's doing it on city time. Hell, add that to the list...

Anonymous said...

There are bigger things this city needs addressed than changing the name of a street. This is a diversion from the real issues on hand. Crime and the corruption in the city. It is being raised by the man who wants us all to forget that he is trying to open (although events are already being held there) a bar in a government center. Oh yeah, that thing...

Anonymous said...

The timing may suck, but this has been a sore issue for years. ON the northwest side, there are two main arteries whicih stop and rename themselves--Kessler E/W/S, and Michigan/MLK. Trying to tell someone how to navigate it, just tell them to think like a drunken sailor. It's ridiculous.

Let's just clear it all up. Whatever we clal it, Michigan and MLK should have the same name. ANd Kessler SOuth Drive, parallel to Michigan, should be the same as Lieber Rd. north of Kessler.

indyernie said...

Wilson calling the GOP racist is pure BS. What are you trying to do re-write history? The Democrat Party kept the African Americans inslaved and has continued to do so, to this day. You are an idiot. You do nothing but promote hate and discontent. African Americans arn't stupid and your race pandering is transparent.

Wilson46201 said...

Indyernie, your observations about race would be laughed at by anybody except the teeny 10% toadies in the Black GOP and in private bloviators like you and "hailstone" are an embarassment to even them.

Ken Mehlman wishes you would just shut up - you wreck the GOP minority outreach! Sorta like Eric Miller, Dobson and Falwell chase away LGBT voters so do the "hailstones" and "indyernies" demonstrate the true racist attitudes of the GOP.

Anonymous said...

Naming a street for Dr. Martin Luther King is just symbolic of the patronizing of black people by liberal Democrats, black and white. Somehow, if a street is named after someone or a holiday is recognized, then supposedly the city cares about black people. Next their will be a proposal to rename some street (West Washington?) after some purported Hispanic hero or leader.

Now if they were working behind the scenes to improve the infrastructure (streets, sidewalks and sewers) in poor neighbohoods, that would be meaningful, but renaming a street has no meaning, except that in the case of MLK, it has made it so much easier to find the ghetto - no matter what city you visit - and avoid it.

Bob Miller said...

I'd like to see this same energy and intensity directed toward ending our crime wave and shoddy government intrigues. The giant blob of incompetence and corruption engulfing our county is more visible now than any street sign.

indyernie said...

The only racist here is you Wilson.
You want to be accepted so badly, that you entrench yourself into issues of which you know nothing about. You have aligned yourself with a political party that is founded on hate and prejudice. A party that enslaves people of color even today. Take the hood of Wilson. Let the folks in Center Township make up their own minds without having to read the hate and lies spewing from your mouth. Give me, no... Give us all a break

Anonymous said...

There ya have it--Washington St. renamed Cesar Chavez Avenue.

Anonymous said...


You really must a closet fan of Bill O'Reilly. Now go to your refrigerator and get some more Kool-Aid... that's it there you go drink up ... good boy.

Anonymous said...


Did you get kicked out of the white race for being such an idiot? You do appear to be confused whre you belong.

indyernie said...

Wilson's new word for the day "bloviator".
I'm sorry Wilson, I didn't mean to be boasting.
My intent was to call you the racist that you are. Sorry if I missed the mark.
I'll make it simple so you will understand. Take of the White hood Wilson time to come out of the race closet, you can't help it if you are a racist