Renaming of N. Church to MLK Blvd voted down

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Another street renaming was voted down in a Jonesboro city council subcommittee. The resolution proposed changing Church St to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.

The alderman that submitted the proposal says he's not upset that it didn't pass and doesn't plan to pursue it further.

"They kept saying we need to try and get a new street," Reverend Dr. Charles Coleman told Region 8 News.

For years, the idea of renaming a Jonesboro street to MLK Boulevard has been discussed.

Dr. Coleman said in 2007, a committee proposed possible streets to rename in honor of the civil rights leader but the city council ultimately voted it down.

Years later, the Highway 63 overpass on Stadium was dedicated to Dr. King.

"They approved that in lieu of considering a new street," Dr. Coleman said.

This time around, Coleman said he had been approached by several people and organizations about bringing it back up.

This time, it was proposed to rename Church Street from Johnson Avenue to the Jonesboro city limits. It was okayed by the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department, as Church Street, or Hwy 141 is a state highway. However, it failed to gain the necessary amount of votes in a city council subcommittee. Currently, the issue is dead again.

"I'm fine with it. All I did was what I was supposed to do," Coleman said. "I have to represent the whole city, so if you brought me something and you think it was value enough for me to push it, I think that's my job."

Dr. Coleman said what he didn't want was a war of words on the issue.

"I didn't want the city to get a black eye over an insignificant situation," Coleman said.

Though he doesn't plan to pursue it further, "one of these days, whether I'm here, dead or alive, there's gonna be a MLK something. It's just that simple to me."

Though the Public Works committee did have a three to one vote to send the resolution to the full council, it wasn't enough.

A two-thirds vote was needed and with two committee members absent, the resolution could not pass unless every person there voted to send it to the full council.

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